Federal Agents Seize 3 Luxury Sports Cars Allegedly Purchased with $5 Million in PPP Loans
On Friday, May 7, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced its arrest of a 38-year-old man in Irvine, California. According to federal charges and KTLA 5, the Orange County man fraudulently obtained approximately $5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for his “sham businesses,” and used the money to buy a Ferrari, Bentley, and Lamborghini. As a result, he is facing 4 counts of bank fraud, 4 counts of wire fraud, 1 count of aggravated identity theft, and 6 counts of money laundering.
Federal agents seized the 3 sports cars, along with $2 million leftover in the man’s bank account from the alleged fraud. The alleged fraudster also used the PPP money to fund lavish vacations and meet his personal expenses.
In the federal grand jury indictment, the DOJ accused the man of creating 4 false companies based in Newport Beach and submitting fraudulent PPP loan applications to 3 banks. The applications allegedly included fake quarterly tax returns, false bank statements with inflated balances, and information about fictitious employees. For one of the loans, the man allegedly used someone else’s name, Social Security number, and signature.
With this false information, the 3 banks funded the PPP loans and transferred the money into accounts the alleged fraudster controlled. The 4 loans totaled about $5 million and were allegedly used to purchase 3 sports cars and fund the accused’s luxurious lifestyle.
How Will the Man Be Sentenced?
Although we cannot predict how this man will be sentenced – and everyone is innocent until proven guilty – we do know the DOJ will use federal sentencing guidelines because the man is charged with federal crimes.
In PPP loan fraud, the amount of the loan and the defendant’s criminal history will influence their sentence, as will the methods the defendant used to defraud the bank.
What Not to Do When Applying for a PPP Loan
If you are applying for a PPP loan, do not let anyone else fill out your loan application for you. Any false or inaccurate information could lead to fraud charges. Additionally, if something feels incorrect when you receive your loan, do not spend the money. Instead, speak to an attorney right away.
Remember, the best time to call an attorney is before you are arrested and charged with a crime.
You can learn more about avoiding fraud charges in Attorney Bass’ YouTube video, “PPP Loan Fraud: #1 Tip to avoid fraud charges.”
If you have concerns, you can also speak to Ms. Bass directly at (949) 264-0696 or contact our firm online to schedule your free, 1-hour consultation.
At Law Offices of Diane C. Bass, A Professional Law Corporation, we focus on representing those charged with federal crimes. Attorney Bass has more than 25 years of criminal defense experience and extensive knowledge and experience with federal cases.
Your consultation is free, so don’t hesitate to call or click today!