First furlough fraud arrest
When the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak earlier this year, many analysts questioned the ability of HMRC to regulate its implementation and usage, given the mass scale on which it was adopted.
The scheme is estimated to have cost the public £19.6billion so far. By the Government’s own analysis at its height, furlough was being used by one-quarter of the UK’s workforce – yet numbers have dropped as lockdown measures continue to ease across the country.
Whilst the vast majority of cases were indeed necessary to save jobs and prevent an employment crisis, previous research has found that 34% of UK employees had been asked by their boss to work while on the scheme – something which was considered an act of fraud under the rules of the CJRS before ‘flexible furloughing’ came into play from July 1, 2020.
HMRC has now confirmed that the first arrests in connection with alleged furlough fraud have been made. The unnamed man from the West Midlands, according to details obtained by The Revenue, has been arrested in connection with an alleged fraud of the scheme. The report stated that the man was arrested on July 8, in connection with claims of a £495,000 case of abuse.