The US Department of Justice announced Thursday that it had indicted a total of 22 people over a scheme in which they set up more than a dozen bogus companies to seek and steal $ 11.1 million from the privacy protection program. payments, which gave companies financial assistance to carry out disruption of the coronavirus pandemic.
Federal prosecutors have charged 22 people from five states, Michigan, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Illinois, with crimes such as wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
According to court documents, the group applied for PPP loans on behalf of 14 bogus companies and requested assistance of around $ 800,000 for each.
In order to get loans, the group reported that each company had around 60 employees and had to pay $ 300,000 a month in salary expenses, and they submitted a bogus IRS form to report payroll taxes.
Six of the 22, including the mastermind of the operation, Darrell Thomas of Duluth, Ga., Have already pleaded guilty for their role in the fraud scheme, one, Khalil Gibran Green of Cleveland, having previously been sentenced to more than three years in prison. jail.
Thomas, who admitted to defrauding, agreed to hand over items purchased with the stolen funds, including luxury cars like the Acura NSX and a Range Rover and jewelry including a gold Rolex.
The group is the latest to be accused of attempting to defraud the government with P3 funds. Earlier this month, a Californian was arrested for stealing $ 3.6 million in P3s and economic disaster loans. He has submitted at least 27 PPP loan applications under bogus companies and on behalf of others. He was charged with electronic and bank fraud. In June, a Florida man pleaded guilty to stealing $ 24 million in PPP loans using bogus companies. He has pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud and could spend up to 30 years in federal prison.
800 billion dollars. This is the amount that the US Small Business Association has provided to businesses across the country. However, he has yet to disclose how much has been spent on fraudulent claims. In May, the Justice Department charged 474 people with fraud in an attempt to steal Covid-19 relief money.
The Federal P3 Loan Fraud Fees are there to remind you that these loans are not “free money” (Forbes)
Nearly 500 people accused of Covid ‘fraud programs’, according to the DOJ (Forbes)