Plumber who used £50k covid loan for gambling and holiday sentenced


A plumber who abused a covid business loan he lied to get has been sentenced.  

Fraudster, Michael Bingham, from Devon, made up a fake gas installation business to secure a £50,000 Bounce Back Loan which he then used to buy a holiday, Christmas shopping, a puppy, and to gamble away. 

The 43 year old, of Lancaster Gardens, in Plymouth, also gave £22,000 to his father-in-law to start a driveway business which never happened.    

The PCB Plumbing business owner also previously applied for a £10,000 covid loan in June 2020 which he then transferred to his personal account, but later revealed he had lied about the company pulling in turnover of £40,000.    

The taxpayer-funded scheme was designed to support businesses through the pandemic.  

Bingham was sentenced to 20 months in prison, suspended for two years, at Plymouth Crown Court, on 25 January.   

He was also ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work to be completed in the next 12 months.   

“Michael Bingham showed a complete disregard for a scheme to help businesses survive in the pandemic on not just one, but two separate occasions,” said Julie Barnes, chief investigator at The Insolvency Service 

“He spent taxpayers’ money on his own personal living expenses, using the loans for a family holiday, gambling, and even to buy a puppy.  

“Bingham provided a totally fictitious turnover for his business, invented another, and never had any intention of paying the money back.” 

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