Four Georgians and three South Carolinians are facing Federal fraud charges for allegedly submitting false information to obtain a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which they laundered among over $2.1 million in other fraudulently-obtained funds.
Federal prosecutors say one of the defendants submitted a fraudulent application for a loan under the PPP to a financial institution on behalf of an entertainment business he ran. They say the loan misstated several pertinent facts about his business, including its number of employees and payroll expenses.
On the strength of the application the institution approved him for a loan of $395,000, which he allegedly distributed to several friends upon receipt. They then deposited the money in accounts of their own in exchange for a percentage of the money they held for the original applicant.
Investigators say the original defendant used his network for laundering money from other sources as well. A second haul from a prior fraud scheme allegedly passed through the defendant’s business, then was withdrawn by two other defendants at a casino, where they gambled briefly before returning the cash to the original defendant.
All of the defendants are now facing charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, with three of the men from Georgia charged last week.