Do you remember when the acronym 'FFS' didn't stand for 'Furlough Fraud Scamster'? 00 Sunak and his trained army of sunglassed mercenaries have a list of names as long Great Britain's national debt is wide, and they know where you all live (thanks to Netflix and the 15-year old who hacked into British Airways database and stole all of our names last year).
Jim Harra, chief executive of HMRC, explained the full extent of the Government's 'pursuit-and-kill-policy' to the NTI newsroom. Jim Harra is not his real name, of course, as no-one has ever seen him or heard him speak. He wore a balaclava to his meeting with Aarati at the Costa on Barnet High Street and spoke through an interpreter called Peter - nice bloke, but Aarati says she didn't see him blink once during their 45 minute meeting. 'Jim' smiled (behind three-ply black wool) as he told us that there have already been more than 10,0000 calls to HMRC's fraud telephone hotline concerning furlough and 28,200 'high-risk' claims that his team of elite trained killers are looking into.
'Jim' said it would be super if all employers would take a minute to check the details of the claims they have made and report any inadvertent errors that may have arisen. He also said that it would be perfect if they would then repay any excess amounts and then did an hilarious impression of Liam Neeson in, well every movie he has made in the last ten years, and said: "If you pay the excess amounts now that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you and I will kill you." No, really, you had to be there.
HMRC recently updated its guidance online and published a compliance fact sheet titled CC/FS48. There are also a number of tools online to help FFSs identify whether they have correctly claimed CJRS or not. One of those tools is a claw-hammer, another is a bicycle chain and the third is a shovel.
None of this will be news to a 52 year old man from Hertfordshire who was arrested this morning (Thursday 29 October) in connection with potential offences against the Bounce Back Loan scheme and other frauds. He was arrested at his home address in Hoddesdon and a search of his premises and a lockup recovered £17,000 in cash and a number of high value watches. His neighbours, who gathered outside the house in fear of not being interviewed by Sky News and Al Jazeera Live, said:
"We are in shock. He seemed such a nice quiet man, always up for a laugh and digging in his garden. We once saw him down the shop. Such a nice man."
National Crime Agency Branch Commander Simon Gower commented: “This arrest is the first by the NCA in relation to potential fraud against the Government’s Bounce Back Loan scheme. The man arrested is suspected of falsely applying for the loan and allegedly using the money on personal items.” He then looked towards one of the perpetrator's neighbours and seemed to mouth to him, 'You're next.'