HARRISBURGH. The Midtown Pennsylvania Attorney’s Office announced today that Keith McConnell, 43, from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, has been charged with criminal charges of electronic communications fraud and money laundering schemes that sent $ 467,200 to aid funds. in connection with COVID-19. guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration through the Payroll Protection Program (PPP).
PPP was designed to help small businesses struggling financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the Relief, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act of March 27, 2020, PPP funds were offered in the form of non-repayable loans to small businesses to save jobs and some other expenses. The amount of PPP loans was determined by the number of employees and the average monthly wages.
Criminal records allege Keith McConnell filed fraudulent loan applications and fraudulent documents on behalf of his Carlisle-area trucking company, KB Transportation LLC, according to Acting United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler. In both 2019 and 2020, KB Transportation LLC did not do business, had no employees and no payroll costs. However, on June 5, 2020, McConnell falsely confirmed that KB Transportation LLC had 26 employees and had monthly payroll costs of $ 124,800. As a result of the fraud, McConnell received $ 312,000 in proceeds from a PPP loan. Over the course of several weeks, McConnell and his associates spent PPP funds on unauthorized spending, including the purchase of a residential property, two cars, and a stock market investment. On January 20, 2021, McConnell used KB Transportation LLC to apply for a second PPP loan of USD 155,200.00 and again submitted false and fraudulent loan applications and documents. The second PPP loan was never disbursed.
“Covid humanitarian aid fraud is a priority for our office and the Department of Justice,” said Acting US Attorney Bruce D. Brandler. “These funds were intended to help small businesses survive the pandemic, not to help scammers maintain a rich lifestyle. Our Covid Fraud Task Force will continue to investigate all credible allegations of fraud and prosecute anyone who may have misused this program. ”
“There are specific rules that dictate who is eligible to apply for PPP loans and how the proceeds from PPP loans can be used,” said Thomas Fatorusso, special agent for criminal investigations at the IRS. “My office will continue to investigate similar cases involving PPP loans to ensure that everyone is complying with these rules.”
The case was being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). The case is being led by Assistant US Attorney Samuel S. Dalke.
Criminal information is just an accusation. All defendants are presumed innocent until found guilty in court.
A post-plea verdict is made by a judge after reviewing applicable federal sentencing laws and Federal sentencing guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for the most serious offense is 30 years in prison, supervised release after imprisonment, and a $ 1,000,000 fine. According to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, a judge must also consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the accused, protect the community and provide for its educational, professional and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum sentence for a crime is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a particular accused.
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