U.S. files first criminal charges for defrauding coronavirus bailout program

0
imageCoronavirus8 hours ago (May 05, 2020 08:05PM ET)

(C) Reuters.

By Jan Wolfe

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department on Tuesday brought its first criminal charges against people it accused of defrauding the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program aimed at dulling the coronavirus pandemic’s heavy hit on the economy.

The small-business loan program is part of an unprecedented $2.2 trillion coronavirus economic package meant to reimburse businesses and households for lost income due to shutdowns and stay-at-home orders.

David Staveley, 52, of Andover, Massachusetts said he needed more than $400,000 to help employees at three restaurants, when in fact two of the establishments were closed before the pandemic began and the third has a different owner, prosecutors alleged.

Prosecutors said David Butziger, 51, of Warwick, Rhode Island lied about the number of employees at a small business to obtain a forgivable $105,000 loan.

The two men exchanged emails about how to create fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents, the Justice Department said.

Both men were arrested on charges including conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

“It is unconscionable that anyone would attempt to steal from a program intended to help hard-working Americans continue to be paid so they can feed their families and pay some of their bills,” U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman of Rhode Island said in a statement.

In March, Attorney General William Barr ordered all U.S. Attorney offices to prioritize investigations into coronavirus scams, such as the peddling of fake cures, investment schemes and Medicare fraud.

Attempts to contact the men or their lawyers were not immediately successful.

U.S. files first criminal charges for defrauding coronavirus bailout program

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

Leave A Reply