THE Hampshire boss of a green energy company has been jailed for a swindle in which he lied to get a £250,000 loan from a Government scheme.

Frederick Bartlett and his business partner Clive Tayton tried to prop up their failing company with the cash which they obtained by claiming they were also putting £250,000 of new capital into the company.

They paid £50,000 from a different account into Okehampton-based Bionova Recycling and then churned the same amount through the account five times before removing it again.

The £250,000 came from the government backed South West Cleantech co-investment fund, which only agreed to lend if Bionova could show new investment of the same amount.

The directors edited their bank statements and provided a version which showed the £50,000 going in five times, but not going out again, thus giving a misleading impression.

Tayton, aged 53, of Bratton Clovelly, near Okehampton, and Bartlett, aged 68, of The Hundred, Romsey, admitted conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Tayton was jailed for 20 months and Bartlett for 18 months by Recorder Mr David Bartlett at Exeter Crown Court.

He told them: “This was a potentially innovative business based on sound science but was less soundly based financially. It got into trouble and sourced this money dishonestly.

“Only £5,000 went directly to Tayton but if the fraud had succeeded and the money had helped the company, they would both have benefited from that.

“It is an important feature of this case that this was government money and these funds are not available to anybody else.

“It would send out the wrong message if you could get away with losing the Exchequer a quarter of a million and not be punished.”

Robin Leach, for Bartlett, said he had only got involved with the company because he thought it had a future and believed the loan would be repaid.

He has lost everything as a result of this case. He has been forced to give up his career as a management accountant, agreed to being disqualified as a director, and is living on a small pension.

Emily Cook, for Tayton, said he founded the company in 2009 and undertook the fraud to keep it going rather than for personal gain.