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The topline

On Thursday, the U.S. Justice Department revealed that 22 individuals were charged in a scheme to create fake businesses and then steal $11.1 Million from the Payment Protection Program. This program provided financial assistance to businesses during the severe economic downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Key Facts

The federal prosecutors indicted 22 individuals from Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina and South Carolina for wire fraud and laundering of money.

Court documents show that the group requested PPP loans for 14 false businesses. Each loan was for $800,000.

The group claimed that they had 60 employees in each of the businesses and were required to pay $300,00 per month for payroll. They also submitted an IRS fake form to report payroll taxes.

Sixteen of the 22 defendants, including Darrell Thomas, a mastermind behind the scheme in Duluth (Ga.), have already pleaded guilty to their involvement in the fraud scheme. One, Khalil Gibran of Cleveland has already been sentenced for more than three years.

Thomas admitted that he was guilty of fraud and agreed to return items bought with stolen funds. These included luxury vehicles like Acura NSX or Range Rover, as well as jewelry such a Rolex in gold.

Important Background

This group was the latest to be charged with trying to defraud government funds for PPP. A Californian man was charged with stealing $3.6million in PPP loans, and Economic Injury Disaster loans. At least 27 PPP loan requests were submitted by him under false businesses or on behalf of others. He was also charged with bank and wire fraud. A Florida man was charged with wire and bank fraud. He could serve up to 30 years federal prison time for his guilty plea.

Big Number

$1800 billion This is how much the U.S. Small Business Association provided for businesses across the country. It has yet to release the exact amount that went towards fraudulent claims. The Department of Justice had already charged 474 individuals with fraud for trying to steal Covid-19 relief funds.

Continue reading

The Federal Commissions of PPP Loan Fraud are Here to Remind You That These Loans Aren’t “Free Money.” ( Forbes).

Dozens of people are charged with coviding ‘fraud schemes’. DOJ says ( Forbes).

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