Care Company Director To Wait A Year For £151k Covid Fraud Trial

Care Company Director To Wait A Year For £151k Covid Fraud Trial

By James Simons-

A care company director has been told she will go on trial next year accused of defrauding a local council’s Covid response fund.

Caroline Hunt, 53, has pleaded not guilty at Chelmsford Crown Court to eight counts of fraud by false representation, but will have to wait a whole  year for her trial was fixed for 4 March 2024.

Prosecutors have claimed Ms Hunt submitted £151,000 in invoices for services to Essex County Council that were fraudulent.

The offences allegedly happened between May and October 2020 while Ms Hunt was director for Hunt Healthcare Group.

Ms Hunt, of St Cleres Hall Lane, St Osyth, Essex, was released on unconditional bail.

The company director has denied defrauding the local council’s Covid response fund by allegedly submitting false invoices for services.

The county council says Ms Hunt submitted evidence for payments from its Covid-19 response fund, between May and October 2020, purporting to “represent genuine documentation” when “in fact it was false” intending to “make a gain, namely unknown” for Hunt Healthcare Group.

Prosecutor George Spencer-Jones said £273,000 in invoices were submitted for services on behalf of four companies, adding that  £170,000 was paid out and that £151,000 of it was fraudulent.

James O’Keefe, defending Ms Hunt, told the court: “This defendant absolutely denies the offences”.

She appeared for a plea hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on 16 March.

Several people have been accused and convicted of defrauding the British system during the pandemic by exploiting the Uk government’s generous bounce back loan system.


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