News release from 11/05/2022

Man prosecuted for falsely claiming COVID business support grant

South Cambs Hall building

A man has been given a criminal record and ordered to pay a fine after claiming a business support grant from South Cambridgeshire District Council that he wasn’t entitled to.

40-year-old Adam Hass from Queens Close, Beck Row, Ipswich, appeared at Huntingdon Magistrates’ Court in March 2022 and admitted one count of fraud by false representation.

Mr Hass was convicted, given a criminal record, and ordered to pay over £700 in investigation and legal costs for wrongly claiming a COVID assistance grant intended to support struggling businesses during the pandemic. These COVID business support grants use Government funding and are administered by Councils.

Former company director Mr Hass falsely claimed a £10,000 grant under the company's name for business premises in Linton that his firm no longer occupied.

In court, the bench expressed their concern relating to the monies lost to the public purse. Mr Hass will have to pay the money back.

South Cambridgeshire District Council’s Lead Cabinet Member for Finance, Cllr John Williams, said: “This case is a reminder to anyone claiming any type of grant to ensure they read the eligibility criteria carefully, and be truthful when making claims for assistance. We have a duty to protect public money – both the Council’s and Government’s. Our teams are always happy to speak to businesses and residents about the benefits system or grant schemes and answer any queries. We want to help people claim what they are entitled to but won’t tolerate anyone claiming financial assistance that they are not entitled to. If you are claiming any type of assistance through the Council and are unsure whether you eligible, please talk to us. If you don’t, you could end-up with a criminal record for fraud.”