THE director of a construction company claimed a £50k business loan he was not entitled to and transferred it to himself for personal gain.

Alexander Stewart Cooper, from Newton Mearns, was caught out following a recent investigation by the Insolvency Service.

The 70-year-old was appointed as a director of Traprain Homes Ltd in 2016, becoming sole director in October 2019.

In June 2020, Cooper applied for a Covid-19 Bounce Back Loan for the business, stating that the company’s turnover was £1,014,930.

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But when the company later went into liquidation, owing the full amount of the loan, this triggered an investigation.

It was found that company accounts to January 2020 had shown a loss of more than £113,000, and the company had not been actively trading since February 2020.

The business bank account had shown a balance of just £96 when the £50k loan was received.

It was also discovered that once the loan had been received, Cooper paid more than £9,400 to himself from the firm’s account, and later transferred more than £40,000 of the money between the company’s different bank accounts before paying it out to himself.

He has fully repaid the loan following recovery action by the company’s liquidator but has been banned from being a company director for 10 years.

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Steven McGinty, investigation manager at the Insolvency Service, said: “Bounce Back Loans were an emergency measure made available to help British businesses trading through the most testing of times.

“Cooper breached the eligibility criteria and then took the money for personal gain.

“This abuse of government support has led to a lengthy ban and should serve as a warning to others that we will not hesitate to take action against directors who have abused Covid-19 financial support.”