Crooked couple of Fowey River estate agents banned for abusing Covid Bounce Back loan

The husband and wife bosses of a former Cornwall estate agents company have been banned from being company directors after admitting their role in the abuse of Covid business loans. David Elderkin, 56, overstated Fowey River Limited’s annual turnover by more than £180,000 to secure the £50,000 Bounce Back loan, which was the maximum amount businesses were entitled to under the scheme to help companies recover from the effects of the pandemic.

The loan money was then transferred to his personal account, used to pay off a loan to his father and given to an associated company. Elderkin was supported by his wife Jennifer Elderkin, 55, who allowed the payments to be made.

The couple, from Carnon Downs, near Truro, were also, until April 29 this year, directors of I for Design Ltd, which used to run retail stores in Truro and Fowey called The Clementine. The store in Fowey is now called LIGA Eco Store and sells eco living products. According to their own LinkedIn pages, the couple is still both involved in LIGA.

Read more: Targeted Christmas market traders lose £50,000 in warehouses as festive market winds down

Read more: Prominent beachfront restaurant and nightclub in iconic location is up for sale

Following action by the government’s Insolvency Service, Mr Elderkin signed a disqualification undertaking banning him from being a company director for eight years. Ms Elderkin signed a four-year commitment.

Kevin Read, chief investigator at the Insolvency Service, said: “David Elderkin was responsible for claiming more Covid support than his business was entitled to and then used the funds for his own personal benefit. His wife Jennifer Elderkin aided her husband’s misconduct by allowing the money not to be used for the economic benefit of their business in Fowey River.

“Tackling the abuse of the Bounce Back Loan scheme is a key priority for the Insolvency Service and Elderkins’ conduct is a significant breach of the standards that are expected of company directors.”