Three men have been arrested on suspicion of fraud relating to the Eat Out to Help Out discount scheme, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has said.
HMRC officers arrested the men – aged 43, 48 and 37 – on Tuesday at their London addresses on suspicion of cheating the public revenue and fraud by false representation.
They mark the first arrests for alleged fraud relating to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s scheme to boost hospitality spending.
Kath Doyle, deputy director of HMRC’s fraud investigation service, said: “The vast majority of businesses will have used Eat Out to Help Out responsibly, but we will not hesitate to act where we suspect abuse of the scheme.
“This is taxpayers’ money and any claim that proves to be fraudulent limits our ability to support people and deprives public services of essential funding.”