UK Restaurateur Blows Bogus COVID Grants on Gambling

Well-known Cardiff restaurant

Some food lovers in the Welsh city of Cardiff rated the little restaurant Chutney Roti in Whitchurch Road as “hands down the best Indian restaurant in Cardiff.” However, its owner recently received a nine-year bankruptcy restriction for making bogus COVID-19 claims based on the establishment.

blew the lion’s share of around £43,000 ($51,609)

As the Insolvency Service shared via Twitter at the beginning of the month, Rathudi Mahesh Manglanand blew the lion’s share of around £43,000 ($51,609) in bogus COVID-19 claims on gambling and drinking:

According to a Wales News Service report on Monday, the Insolvency Service found Manglanand had received the money via COVID-19 grants for his restaurant, despite it being shuttered before the pandemic even hit. Even though Chutney Roti was not eligible for financial assistance, Manglanand applied for a £25,000 ($30,005) grant from his local council in April 2020, and an £18,000 ($21,601) Bounce Back Loan in March.

The Insolvency Service said the restaurateur estimated he’d lost “around £30,000 [$36,003] through gambling in the space of a year.”

Gambling and drinking

Once the Cardiff curry house owner went bust after squandering most of the COVID-19 cash, he applied for bankruptcy in July 2021. As the Insolvency Office subsequently investigated Manglanand, it revealed his ruse.

was not thinking straight”

According to a Gov.uk press release, Manglanand accepted that Chutney Roti had already stopped trading and told investigators he had been drinking heavily and “was not thinking straight.” As a result, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy “accepted a nine-year bankruptcy restrictions undertaking” from Manglanand, which began June 20, 2022.

The UK’s Insolvency Service is an executive agency of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. The government agency’s remit includes supporting individuals in financial distress and tackling financial wrongdoing.

As Manglanand’s trustee in bankruptcy, the Official Receiver is also assessing what assets it can use to recoup the lost grant monies.

Deputy Official Receiver at the Insolvency Service, Gavin Seymour, said: “The COVID-19 support schemes generously provided taxpayer money to support genuine businesses and anyone who abused those schemes should expect to be caught and punished.”

Not the first

Manglanand’s case has echoes of another that emerged from Japan in May. In error, a man received ¥46.3m ($358,000) worth of COVID-19 relief funds earmarked for poor families. The 24-year-old, who quit his job and went on the run, spent the money via mobile gambling apps.

According to local media, the man has confirmed that he will pay the local town back “bit by bit,” despite not providing a timeline. “I feel very sorry that I used it up,” the man said according to his lawyer.

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