A California man was arrested Thursday on criminal charges related to his alleged planning to file fraudulent loan applications to obtain millions of dollars under the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and COVID-19 Natural Disaster Loan (EIDL).
According to an indictment returned last week by a federal grand jury in San Francisco and printed today, 40-year-old Lebnitz Tran of San Jose has submitted at least 27 applications for a PPP loan and at least seven applications for an EIDL loan on behalf of multiple individuals. and business. legal entities using false and fictitious information and documents, including falsified information about employees, fictitious or grossly inflated payroll data, as well as fake tax documents. The indictment alleges that Tran sought over $ 8 million in PPP and EIDL funds, received over $ 3.6 million in illicit loans, and ultimately received about $ 2 million in net profit from the scheme. The indictment further alleges that Tran and others used these illicit loans to shop at restaurants and retail stores, deposit into personal investment accounts, buy cryptocurrency, and, in one case, buy Tesla for $ 100,000 at a luxury car dealership.
Tran is charged with six counts of electronic fraud and three counts of bank fraud. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison for each count of bank fraud and 20 years in prison for each count of electronic fraud.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Acting US Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds of the Northern District of California; and Special Agent in charge Craig D. Fair of the FBI Field Office in San Francisco; and Responsible Special Agent Weston King of the Office of the Inspector General of Small Business Affairs (SBA-OIG) West Region made the announcement.
The FBI and SBA-OIG are investigating the case.
Attorney Christopher Jackson of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Griswold of the Northern District of California are prosecuting.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Task Force to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice, in partnership with government departments, to intensify efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force supports efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors, and helps agencies tasked with managing assistance programs to prevent fraud, inter alia, by expanding and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and methods to identify fraudsters and fraudsters. schemes, and the exchange and use of information and ideas from previous compliance efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus…
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted COVID-19 fraud can report it by calling the National Center for Disaster Management of Frauds (NCDF) of the U.S. Department of Justice at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF complaint web form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form…
An indictment is simply a statement, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.