Two fraudsters who laundered £70million scammed £10million from a government coronavirus support scheme while they were on bail.
Artem Terzyan, 38, from Russia and Deivis Grochiatskij, 44, from Lithuania, were jailed for 33 years for their crimes.
They headed an international criminal network which used fake companies to move money around to clean the dirty cash.
But even after they were arrested they carried on committing offences, using the bogus firms to easily claim covid support Bounce Back Loans to the tune of £10million.
They claimed up to £50,000 a time, generating over £10m in total. £3.2m of that was claimed from one UK bank alone.
PIctures of unknown associates showed them showing off huge wads of cash as part of the illicit enterprise.
Details of the con will be hugely embarrassing for Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who dreamt up the loans to try and help businesses during lockdown.
But news of the scam comes just two weeks after the MPs on the Public Accounts Committee savaged the Government’s measures to stop the scheme being abused as ‘too little too late’.
Labour chairwoman Meg Hillier said the Bounce Back Loan scheme ‘came with colossal risks of fraud and error which are only now becoming clearer’ and £17billion may never be repaid.
Artem Terzyan, 38, from Russia and Deivis Grochiatskij, 44, from Lithuania, have been jailed
An unknown associate – anonymised by the NCA here – hugs a mountain of high value notes
Wads of cash and…