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Feds: Maryland twins used fake $1 million loans to trade crypto and buy sports car

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A pair of twin brothers from Maryland are facing federal charges for fraudulently obtaining $1 million in COVID-19 loans, authorities have announced.

Jerry and Jaleel Phillips, 24, of Temple Hills, submit bogus Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications, Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications and unemployment insurance claims to get the money, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L, Barron said.

The Phillips brothers created pseudonyms, used the personal identifying information of real people, and used fake businesses or legal entities to apply for EIDL and PPP loans, as well as unemployment benefits, Barron said citing the affidavit.

They created several financial and email accounts under pseudonyms, including “Kenneth Williams”, “Allen Gator” and “Jamal Hopkins”, which were backed by fake Maryland driver’s licenses, social security numbers and dates of birth, federal officials said.

The brothers used the funds to buy a 2020 Camaro, furniture, home improvement items and services, and did more, authorities said.

Significant funds were also transferred between the various financial accounts established in the names of the pseudonyms.

The Phillips used several fraudulent Maryland driver’s licenses to create multiple accounts on popular digital currency exchanges, authorities said.

The brothers face federal charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft; and Jaleel Phillips, 24, of Temple Hills, Maryland, for wire fraud, in connection with an alleged scheme to illegally obtain COVID-19 relief loans and unemployment benefits, Barron said.

If convicted, the Phillips brothers face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud. Jerry faces an additional two years in federal prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft.

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