The owner of an Indian restaurant in Wales has been placed under nine-year bankruptcy restrictions after reportedly spending most of taxpayer support from a COVID fund on alcohol and gambling.
Rathudi Mahesh Manglanand, 47, was a sole proprietor who ran the Chutney Roti Indian Restaurant in Cardiff. According to the UK Insolvency Service, the restaurant had already ceased operations before the pandemic began and was therefore not eligible for any COVID-19 financial support schemes.
However, in April 2020, Manglanand applied to his local council for a grant of £25,000 and the following month he applied for an £18,000 bounce-back loan.
The restaurateur then filed for his own bankruptcy in July 2021. At that point, the bankruptcy trustees began investigating and uncovered the “abuse” of COVID-19 financial assistance programs.
“The COVID-19 assistance programs generously provided taxpayers’ money to support real businesses, and anyone who has abused these programs should expect to be caught and fined,” said Gavin Seymour, assistant bankruptcy service officer.
Manglanand accepted his business had already ceased trading and told investigators he had been drinking heavily and “wasn’t thinking straight”. He estimated that he had lost around £30,000 from gambling within a year.
Secretary of State for Corporate, Energy and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng accepted a nine-year insolvency confinement commitment from the businessman, beginning June 20, 2022.
The Bankruptcy Service, in its capacity as Rathudi Manglanand’s bankruptcy trustee, said the official bankruptcy trustee is assessing available assets to recover the COVID-19 support funding.
Insolvency restrictions in the UK are far-reaching and have similar effects as a company imposing limits on an individual’s business activities for the duration of the restrictions.
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