US authorities have sentenced a 35-year-old man to 51 months in jail for his role in a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 relief funds of over $6.8 million from the US government’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The man had previously pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering.
During 2020-2021, the convict submitted 21 fraudulent PPP loan applications to 13 lenders on behalf of nine businesses under his control. He falsified several pieces of information required on these applications, such as the number of employees, payroll documentation, and the tax returns for his businesses. Through these fraudulent applications, the convict sought over $6.8 million in government relief funds. He received nearly $4.6 million in PPP funds, which he then transferred to brokerage accounts. Subsequently, he used the brokerage accounts to invest $3 million of the illicitly-obtained funds in losing stock trades.
In addition to the prison sentence, the convict will also be subjected to two years of supervised release. Further, he will have to pay $4,577,631 in restitution for his crime.
Source: US Department of Justice