Five People, Including Current and Former JetBlue Employees, Accused of Covid-19 Fraud | USAO-EDNY

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Brooklyn Federal Court opened a criminal case today in which Orlando Sanay, Camie Nunez and his twin brother Kaylee Nunez, Michael Pimentel Veloz and Fanny Plasencia were accused of electronic fraud with false statements they allegedly made to obtain loans. due to economic damage. Credit program (“EIDL”). The defendants were arrested today and will appear for the first time this afternoon before United States Justice of the Peace Roan L. Mann.

Mark J. Lescaut, Acting US Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Peter K. Fitzhugh, Special Agent in charge, New York Homeland Security Investigation Service (HSI), announced the arrests and indictments.

“The defendants allegedly lied blatantly and stole more than $ 1 million in taxpayer funds from a program designed to help small businesses and their employees struggling to stay afloat and make ends meet during the pandemic,” the interim said US Attorney Lesko. “Our office will continue to ensure that criminals who divert aid in the wake of the pandemic by filling their own pockets are held accountable for their greed.”

“The five arrested today are said to have planned to defraud the government by fraudulently obtaining more than $ 1 million in loans under the Economic Injury and Disaster Loans program under the COVID Relief Act. They are a team of scammers who not only stole money from a government agency, but also stole much-needed aid from those who depended on it most, ”said HSI Special Agent Fitzhugh. “HSI New York worked closely with the IRS – Criminal Investigations, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General and JetBlue’s Corporate Security to apprehend these people and ensure they face the consequences of their actions.”

The EIDL program provides low-interest loans to qualified small businesses. The Coronavirus Relief, Assistance and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) has expanded EIDL to provide economic support to help offset the temporary loss of income that businesses are experiencing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As stated in the complaint, between April 2020 and August 2020, defendants applied for EIDL loans to eight separate organizations. In these statements, the respondents misrepresented the number of employees associated with the organizations and incorrectly reported the gross revenues of the organizations in the 12 months prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, Sanay applied for a loan to the Small Business Association (“SBA”) in July 2020, claiming that he is the owner and CEO of Sanay Venture Capital LLC (“SVC”). In the statement, Sanay falsely claimed that SVC had 26 employees, had gross revenues of $ 839,000 and the value of goods sold during the relevant period was $ 560,000. Sanay and Camie Nunez applied from the IP address of their employer, JetBlue Airways, to the SBA’s online portal. The SBA approved SVC’s application and transferred $ 139,400 to Sanai’s personal bank account on August 4, 2020. Contrary to the statements in the statement, NYC Department of Labor records showed that SVC never disclosed its employees. IRS records also show that SVC has never filed a tax return since its inception in 2014. To date, there is no evidence that the EIDL funds provided by SVC were used commercially. Kaylee Nunez no longer works at JetBlue.

Based on these misconceptions, the Small Business Administration approved more than $ 1 million in loans that were transferred to the defendants’ bank accounts.

In addition to making false claims to obtain loans, the Defendants did not use ancillary funding to cover ongoing business expenses as required by the EIDL program. Instead, they have withdrawn hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from the bank accounts for which the EIDL loans were received.

A charge in a complaint is a contention and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. If convicted, each defendant faces up to 20 years in prison.

The case is under the jurisdiction of the Business and Securities Fraud Division. Department of Justice Attorney Patrick J. Campbell is in charge of the prosecution.

Defendants:

ORLANDO SANAI
Age: 39
Elizabeth, New Jersey

KAYLEY NUNES
Age: 41
Jamaica, New York

CAMIE NUNES
Age: 41
Woodhaven, New York

MICHAEL PIMENTEL VELOZ
Age: 40
Garfield, NJ

FANNY PLASENCIA
Age: 20
Jamaica, New York

EDNY Document # 21-MJ-668



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