Kebab restaurant owner jailed for £30k loan fraud

Kebab restaurant owner jailed for £30k loan fraud

Apr 2, 2024

The owner of two Turkish restaurants has been jailed for two and a half years after faking turnover to apply for a covid loan on a new business before dissolving the company

Just months into the pandemic, in May 2020, Ilhan Kekec of Waltham Abbey, Essex, applied for and was given a £30,000 Covid bounce back loan for Derwish Kebab Restaurant in Forest Gate and owned through his business, Hizirali Limited.

Following a trial, Kekec has been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison when he appeared at Isleworth Crown Court for sentencing on Monday 18 March.

Kekec had only opened the restaurant three weeks before the covid lockdown struck forcing him to close. On his loan application, he falsely claimed the turnover of the Derwish Kebab Restaurant was £125,000.

He also owned another restaurant in Watford called the Derwish Restaurant, which had traded for three years through Helosh Ltd which is still up and running under another director.

Having banked the £30,000 covid loan, Kekec told Insolvency Service investigators he had used the £30,000 to pay off personal debts and within weeks, he applied to dissolve his business without informing creditors.

He applied to dissolve his company in June 2020, claiming it was no longer economically viable for him to run the restaurant.

However, he deliberately failed in his statutory duty to inform his creditors within seven days of his voluntary strike-off application with Companies House.

Julie Barnes, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: ‘Ilhan Kekec saw an opportunity in the early weeks of the pandemic to receive a Covid loan which he never intended to repay.

‘His actions were thoroughly dishonest and at no point did he ever own up to his crimes.

‘He will now have the chance to reflect on his behaviour from behind bars.’

Kekec was sentenced to two-and-a-half years each for two counts of fraud by false representation, and two years and four months respectively for offences under the Companies Act, with the sentences to run concurrently. He was also disqualified as a company director for three years.