Michael Frempong-Taylor (45) appeared at Southwark Crown Court on 25 October 2019 where he was jailed for two years after he was convicted of three counts of fraud and three counts of false accounting.
Formerly of Barking, Essex, but currently residing in London, Michael Frempong-Taylor was also disqualified by Judge Gledhill QC from acting as a company director for eight years.
The court heard that Michael Frempong-Taylor was a Director of Germinate Business Limited. The company provided IT and management consultancy services and was an accredited supplier for the Government’s Growth Vouchers programme.
The Government scheme ran between January 2014 and March 2015 and aimed to encourage small businesses to access expert advice.
Businesses registered to the scheme received a voucher that offered up to £2,000 to cover half the costs of buying strategic business advice from accredited private sector suppliers.
Business would then agree for the supplier to submit a claim form for payment, which would include proof that the business had received the advice and paid the accredited supplier half of the cost of that advice. The supplier would then claim the other 50% of the cost of this advice from the Government up to maximum value of £2,000.
Mr Frempong-Taylor made £6,000 worth of applications for payments to the Government. But following confidential investigations, the Insolvency Service found that three of the applications and connected invoices were fraudulent as Germinate had not done any work for these businesses.
Sentencing Michael Frempong-Taylor, Judge Gledhill QC said:
I take the view this is a very serious offence due to its sophistication, you were near defrauding the department of thousands of pounds. You would undoubtedly have done more had the scheme not ended. You were deliberately targeting public money for your own benefit.
In addition to his prison term, Michael Frempong-Taylor has been disqualified as a director for eight years. He is now banned from being involved, directly or indirectly, in the formation, promotion or management of a business.
Ian West, Chief Investigation Officer for the Insolvency Service, said:
Michael Frempong-Taylor cynically and intentionally tried to reap personal reward from a programme intended to help small businesses grow.
This sentence should act as a warning to any other directors tempted to fraudulently apply for government funds that the consequences are severe.
Notes for editors
Michael Frempong-Taylor is of Barking, Essex.
Germinate Business Limited (04979352).
The sentence result was announced at Southwark Crown Court by Judge Gledhill
Persons subject to a disqualification order are bound by a range of other restrictions.
You can also follow the Insolvency Service on:
- January 9, 2020 at 12:04 pm by Editor (displayed above)
- January 9, 2020 at 12:04 pm by Editor