A businessman has been banned from being a director for 12 years after his company gave false information to get a £50,000 government-backed loan.

Ben Chambers, of Acacia Crescent, Angmering, knew that his publishing company Chambers Media, in Worthing, was unable to pay the debts that it owed in November 2019.

The 43-year-old’s business and its assets were sold and it stopped trading on March 2, 2020.

But, in May of that year he provided false information that the business was still running to apply for a £50,000 loan backed by the government known as a bounce back loan (BBL).

The scheme was created to help small and medium-sized businesses which were adversely affected by the Covid pandemic.

A report by the government’s Insolvency Service states Mr Chambers stated the business was not insolvent in December 2019 and was engaged in trading or commercial activity at the date of the application – May 11, 2020.

The report reads: “An application for a BBL of £50,000 was submitted in May 2020.

“The balance on the account was £3,974.52 the day before the BBL was credited on May 14.

“On May 14, 2020, the director paid himself £15,000, paid £9,500 to the other directors and £25,000 was transferred to a connected company.

By May 19, 2020, the balance on the account was £833.40.

“Mr Chambers failed to ensure that Chambers met its financial commitments as regards Corporation Tax, PAYE/NIC and VAT and caused Chambers to trade to the detriment of HM Revenue and Customs and to his own benefit from at least January 7, 2018, when VAT for the quarter to November 2017 fell due, to its cessation in March 2021.

“Consequently, HMRC have submitted a claim in the liquidation for £188,501.95.”

Mr Chambers has been disqualified from acting as a director for 12 years. His banning order began on January 29.

He is the third director from the company to be banned after Nicola Chambers received a 12-year ban for her role in abusing the taxpayer-backed business loan.

Donna Chambers was also disqualified from being a director for four years for her role in getting the loan.