Six Charged Under $ 3 Million Fraud Protection Program | Takeover bid
Six people have been charged in an indictment with fraudulently obtaining approximately $ 1.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (P3) loans on behalf of five companies based in Georgia and South Carolina.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice; Acting US Attorney Bobby L. Christine of the Northern District of Georgia; Special Agent in Charge Chris Hacker of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Kevin Kupperbusch of the Office of the Inspector General of the Small Business Association (SBA OIG) Eastern Region; and Special Agent in Charge Mark Maroni of the Inspector General of the Treasury for the Southeast Division of Tax Administration (TIGTA) made the announcement.
Rodericque Thompson, 43, of Atlanta, Ga., Micah K. Baisden, 30, of Doraville, Ga., Travis C. Crosby, 31, of Wellford, South Carolina, Keith A. Maloney Jr., 33, of Port Wentworth, Ga., Tabronx W. Smith, 43, of Buford, Ga., and Thomas D. Wilson, 30, of Atlanta, were charged in an indictment filed in the Northern District of Georgia for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, misrepresentation to a financial institution and money laundering.
These people were said to have been part of a larger group who together fraudulently obtained around $ 3.0 million in P3 loans. To date, authorities have recovered approximately $ 1,195,784.98 of the stolen money.
The indictment alleges that Thompson recruited Baisden, Crosby, Maloney, Smith and Wilson to apply for PPP loans on behalf of their respective companies, PowerHouse Sports Academy LLC, Faithful Transport Services LLC, KMJ Transport LLC, Market Yourself LLC and Rare Breed Nation LLC. With the help of Thompson, Baisden, Crosby, Maloney, Smith and Wilson are said to have each obtained a PPP loan of $ 300,000 by submitting loan applications containing numerous false and misleading statements about their activities. Thompson allegedly helped applicants submit fraudulent loan applications in exchange for a percentage of the loan proceeds.
The following five people pleaded guilty to this alleged scheme:
- Antonio D. Hosey, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and money laundering (20-CR-396-LMM);
- Timothy Williams of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and misrepresentation (20-CR-339-LMM);
- Stanley Dorceus, of Marietta, Georgia, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and misrepresentation (20-CR-320-LMM);
- Kenneth L. Wright, Jr., of Atlanta, Ga., Pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and misrepresentation (20-CR-285-LMM); and
- Mark A. Stewart, of Greenville, South Carolina, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and misrepresentation (20-CR-319-LMM).
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) law is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects of the COVID-pandemic. 19. One source of relief under the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $ 349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job maintenance and certain other expenses under the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized more than $ 300 billion in additional P3 funding.
The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to benefit from loans with a two-year term and an interest rate of 1%. Businesses must use the proceeds from PPP loans for personnel costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The PPP allows the remission of interest and principal if companies spend the proceeds of these expenses within a specified time frame and use at least a certain percentage of the loan for payroll costs.
An indictment is only an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.
This case has been reviewed by the FBI Atlanta Task Force on Complex Financial Crimes, the SBA OIG, and the Inspector General of the Treasury for Tax Administration. Prosecutor Michael P. McCarthy of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division and United States Special Assistant Prosecutor Diane D. Schulman of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia are continuing the case.