11 metro residents charged with $ 11 million federal PPP loan fraud – WSB-TV Channel 2

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ATLANTA – 22 people have been charged under a federal scheme to defraud the government into receiving fake Payroll Protection Program loans, and 11 of these people are from the Atlanta Metro.

The US Department of Justice says about $ 11.1 million in PPP loans were taken, which were then used to buy luxury cars, jewelry and other personal items.

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“So many businesses needed federal emergency assistance to stay afloat during the pandemic, and these defendants allegedly funneled millions of dollars of that money into their pockets for luxury goods,” said Chris Hacker, FBI special agent in Atlanta.

According to the prosecutor’s office, the defendants allegedly submitted or helped in applying for a PPP loan for 14 enterprises between April and August 2020. Loan applications for each company ranged from $ 700,000 to $ 850,000.

The appendices indicated that each company had 59 to 69 employees in February 2020, and monthly payroll costs averaged between $ 295,000 and $ 342,000.

ACTUAL STORIES:

An investigation in the United States seized about $ 4 million in PPP loans, four luxury cars and several jewelry.

The defendants from the metro include:

  • Alpharetta’s Megan Thomas, 32 – accused of conspiracy to commit bank and electronic fraud, bank fraud, electronic fraud and false statements to a federally insured financial institution in connection with her involvement in lending several enterprises
  • Jessica Blakely, 34, Atlanta – Charged with conspiracy to commit bank and electronic fraud, bank fraud, electronic fraud, false statements to a federally insured financial institution, and money laundering in connection with her involvement in granting loans to several enterprises.
  • John Gaines a / k / a Marty Gaines, 56, from Marietta – convicted of conspiracy to commit bank and electronic fraud, bank fraud, electronic fraud, false reporting to a federal insured financial institution and money laundering money in connection with a loan received from Gaines Reservation and Travel
  • Charles Petty a / k / a Charles Knight, 48, of Atlanta – convicted of conspiracy to commit bank and electronic fraud, bank fraud, electronic fraud, false reporting to a federally insured financial institution , and money laundering in connection with the loan received. by Transportation Management Services Inc.
  • Jerry Baptist, 43, of College Park is accused of conspiracy to commit bank and electronic fraud, bank fraud, electronic fraud, providing false reports to federally insured financial institutions, and money laundering in connection with a loan received by Transportation Management Services Inc.
  • Charles Hill IV, 45, from Norcross – Charged with conspiracy to commit electronic fraud, electronic fraud and money laundering in connection with a loan received by his business, Infinite Education Services Inc.
  • Teldrin Foster, 39, of Decatur – accused of conspiracy to commit electronic money scams in connection with a loan received by Bellator Phront Group Inc.
  • Denesseria Slaton, 52, of Stockbridge is accused of conspiracy to commit bank and wire transfer fraud in connection with a loan received by Transportation Management Services Inc.
  • Karla Jackson, 53, of Tucker – Previously indicted on Aug. 4, 2020, with money laundering in connection with the laundering of proceeds from a PPP loan to Gaines Reservation and Travel.
  • Darrell Thomas, 35, of Duluth, on June 16, 2021, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit banking and electronic fraud and one count of money laundering. As part of his plea of ​​guilty, Darrell Thomas pleaded for fraud totaling over $ 14.7 million, including over $ 11.1 million in fraudulent PPP loans, over $ 1.15 million in fraudulent personal injury loans and over $ 2.4 million in fraudulent car loans. loans. He also agreed to confiscate various assets, including seized funds worth more than $ 2.1 million, three luxury vehicles – a 2018 Mercedes-Benz S-Class S65AMG, a 2018 Land Rover Range Rover and a 2017 Acura NSX – and several items. jewelry. including a gold Rolex watch.
  • Andre Lee Gaines, 67, from Dallas, pleaded guilty to one count of false statements to the FBI on June 17, 2021, in connection with a loan received by his business, Gaines Reservation and Travel.

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Thomas’s verdict is set for September 15th. Gaines is due to be sentenced on October 6.



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