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Overview Of Financial Consultant Banned For Bounce Back Abuse

Financial consultant banned for Bounce Back abuse of £45,000 to invest in cryptocurrencies has been disqualified as a Director for 11 years.

Eunice Gill Dzodzome (32), from Chigwell in Essex was appointed sole director of Reach Alive Limited at the same time the company was incorporated in September 2015.

Trading from premises in Bow, East London, Reach Alive provided financial consultancy services but entered into creditors’ voluntary liquidation in July 2021. The Statement of Affairs for the voluntary Liquidation showed that the only creditors were HMRC And Lloyds Bank Plc in respect of the Bounce Back Loan. The total amount of creditors was around £60,000.

Bounce Back Loan Application

Reach Alive’s insolvency, however, triggered an investigation by the Insolvency Service before investigators uncovered that Eunice Dzodzome had submitted a false Bounce Back Loan application.

Cryptocurrency Use Of Bounce Loan Monies

To be eligible to claim a Bounce Back Loan, businesses were required to have been trading by 1 March 2020 and continuing to trade when submitting the application. It is notable that the President of the European Central Bank says that cryptocurrencies are ‘worthless’ and ‘founded on nothing’. Christine Lagarde said:

My extremely modest opinion is that cryptocurrency is worthless. It is founded on nothing, and there are no underlying assets to serve as a safety anchor … I have always stated that these types of assets are highly speculative and extremely risky.

The Bounce Back Loan Scheme was known not to be a risk free scheme by the Government but it was not set up to facilitate investment in cryptocurrency.

Reach Alive Limited Dormant Accounts

The case of Eunice Dzodzome was all the more problematic because where the application was made for the Bounce Back Loan on 17 August 2020, Reach Alive Limited was not trading and dormant accounts were filed for the year ending September 2020. It was reported by the Insolvency Service that on the application, Eunice Dzodzome stated her company had been trading when it was dormant, while also exaggerating a £200,000 turnover when accounts for the year ending September 2019 revealed turnover was closer to £19,000.

Further enquiries found that Eunice Dzodzome’s company Reach Alive Ltd received a £45,000 Bounce Back Loan of which she transferred £40,000 into her personal account, which she invested in cryptocurrency. Of the remaining loan, £2,000 was paid to Eunice Dzodzome as a director’s loan and £3,000 was used as an advance payment toward her company’s Liquidation.

Investigators concluded that Eunice Dzodzome breached the conditions of the government-backed loan that should have been used to support the business through the pandemic and not for personal use.

The conditions of the provision of a Bounce Back Loan were that it was used for the economic benefit of the company that applied for it.

Disqualification Undertaking

On 12 April 2022, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy accepted an 11-year disqualification undertaking from Eunice Dzodzome.

Effective from 3 May 2022, Eunice Dzodzome is disqualified from acting as a director of a company and from directly, or indirectly, becoming involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company, without the permission of the court.

Insolvency Service Comment

Lawrence Zussman, Deputy Head of Insolvent Investigations, said:

Eunice Dzodzome blatantly abused the Government’s bounce back loan, which was meant to provide a vital lifeline to businesses during the pandemic so they could bounce back.

11 years is a substantial amount of time to be removed from the corporate area and the severity of Eunice Dzodzome’s disqualification should serve as a stark warning to others that we will tackle those offenders who think they can abuse their responsibilities and ultimately the taxpayer.

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