Claimed sales of £200,000 when sales were zero

Director disqualified after Covid loan support given to dormant firm

Firm's products included printed toast. Image: Ink Edibles Ltd
Firm's products included printed toast. Image: Ink Edibles Ltd

A director of a business specialising in personalised sweets and other edible items has been barred for a decade for claiming a taxpayer-backed Bounce Back Loan on false pretences.

Leo Bernard Stanley was a director of Ink Edibles Ltd based in Denton, Manchester.

The firm’s product range included personalised sweets, biscuits and novelty toast printed with edible ink.

The BBL criteria required borrowers to declare that their business was actively trading on 1 March 2020 and had been adversely impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Stanley’s application for a £50,000 loan stated that Ink Edibles’ turnover or estimated turnover for calendar year 2019 was £200,000.

The business received a BBL of £50,000 via HSBC on 18 January 2021.

However, the firm filed dormant accounts for the periods ending 31 May 2019 and 31 May 2020.

The Insolvency Service report said: “Mr Stanley stated Ink Edibles did not start trading until 1 June 2020 and therefore Ink Edibles did not meet the criteria for the BBL. Records show sales transactions started in June 2020 and turnover in the period from 1 June 2020 to 31 March 2022 totalled £4,682.65.”

It found no record of trading receipts and payments in the firm’s bank account.

After the BBL monies were received payments of £48,979.02 were made, with £35,000 paid to an associated company, £13,029 to third party firms, and £950 into an unknown account.

“Mr Stanley has provided no explanation for these payments and no evidence has been provided to demonstrate that the BBL was used in its entirety for the economic benefit of Ink Edibles,” the report noted.

Ink Edibles went into creditors’ voluntary liquidation on 13 April 2022.

Of the £50,000 loan more than £32,156 remains outstanding. The liquidator was able to recover £15,000 from the director.

As a result of his actions Stanley has been banned from being a director for 10 years, with the ban taking effect on 27 December 2023.

His month of birth is September 1955 and his last known address was at Ravenoak Park Road in Cheadle Hulme.

According to filings at Companies House at the time of writing today (3 January), Stanley is also listed as an active director at 0161-Manc Ltd, described as a manufacturer of apparel and accessories, and printing not elsewhere classified.  

His appointment as a director of that business was terminated on 30 November 2023, but he was then re-appointed on 20 December 2023.