The owner of the Portland business was charged with two counts of federal loan fraud for allegedly overstating payroll at two of his companies to raise more than $ 622,000 in COVID-19 small business aid for their own use.
Peter Peacock Blood, 57, claimed in two payroll protection loan applications in April 2020 that his Portland-based companies Cycle Power Partners and Cycle Holdings have a total of 10 employees and average monthly wages of more than $ 116,000.
The Oregon District Attorney’s Office said tax returns filed in 2019 and 2020 show that Cycle Power Partners, which positions itself as a clean energy producer, had no more than two employees and paid less than $ 7,000 in quarterly wages.
Cycle Holdings’ quarterly tax returns were not filed in those years, according to the Oregon District Attorney’s Office. Cycle Holdings describes its activities in government records as “a holding company in the energy, environment, infrastructure, technology, asset management, and O&M assets and services.”
The indictment was disclosed earlier this month. Court documents show that Blood pleaded not guilty on July 14. Blood’s lawyer declined to comment.
Blood can face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $ 2 million if convicted.
The payroll protection program provided small businesses with potentially forgiven loans during the coronavirus pandemic to help them cover wages and other expenses.
Blood’s company previously sought a tax credit of up to $ 10 million in 2014 as part of a controversial government energy tax credit program that is now defunct.
Legislators canceled the tax break in 2010 due to increased costs and abuse of its loose rules, but those are a thing of the past in previously approved projects. Blood’s company, Cycle Power Partners, sought to take over the management of a solar project in South Oregon that had been abandoned by two other companies.
Oregon Department of Energy approved the translation tax credit for businesses, but two months later Cycle Power Partners told the Oregon Department of Energy that this too abandonment of the project, citing construction delays and the inability to secure ongoing funding.