Bungling builder lost £50k covid loan in crypto scam


A builder who overstated his income to claim a £50,000 business loan during covid which he then lost in an online scam has been sentenced.  

Fraudster Lukasz Nowak, from Hounslow, in West London, received a 20-month prison sentence suspended for two years for abusing a Covid loan, at Lincoln Crown Court, on 27 November. 

The 43-year-old self-employed builder received the Bounce Back Loan after falsely claiming his business had turnover of £205,000, when in fact it was around £20,000. 

The rules of the scheme meant businesses could claim up to £50,000, depending on their previous year’s turnover, to be used for financial support.  

Instead, Nowak unknowingly invested the full loan amount in a cryptocurrency scam, lost it all, and was later declared bankrupt in July 2021. 

He admitted his actions in November 2022 during an investigation by the Insolvency Service, and later pleaded guilty at an initial hearing at Boston Magistrates’ Court on 9 October 2023. 

In addition to his 20-month suspended sentence, Nowak was ordered to pay back £12,000 to the bank from which he loaned the money.  

Her honour Judge Sjölin Knight also included 200 hours unpaid work and 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days as part of his sentence. 

“Lukasz Nowak took advantage of a scheme designed to help those in financial need, without thought for anyone else,” said Julie Barnes, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service. 

“Nowak’s reckless actions, driven by intention to make a personal gain, resulted in loss to the public purse. 

“His sentence shows that the Insolvency Service will not tolerate abuse of taxpayers’ money.” 

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