3 Michigan Charged With COVID Business Loan Program Fraud

Three Michigan residents were among 17 people indicted in an $ 11 million fraud scheme involving loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

Between May and August 2020, the 17 defendants reportedly submitted or helped submit PPP loan applications for $ 800,000 each for 14 companies, the US Department of Justice said.

To receive the money, the defendants allegedly submitted fraudulent IRS 941 forms, which are used by businesses to report payroll taxes.

After the loans were received by the companies, the defendants allegedly disguised how they distributed the money to the conspirators and disguised how the money was spent, the Justice Department said. The loans were distributed by the Small Business Administration to help employers keep their workforce employed during the COVID pandemic. The program ended in May, according to the SBA website.

The money from the loans was used to buy jewelry and luxury vehicles, including two Range Rovers, an Acura NSX and a Mercedes Benz S-Class s65 AMG, the Justice Department said in a statement on Thursday.

The three Michiganians charged in connection with the alleged scheme are Ricky Dixon, Derek Parker and Charmaine Redding.

Dixon, 52, de Warren is charged with Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud and Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud, Wire Fraud, False Representation to a Federally Insured Financial Institution, Aggravated Identity Theft and money laundering.

He was involved in obtaining several loans, including one for his company, RK Painting Co., according to authorities.

Parker, 56, of Rochester Hills is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. His company, D Parker Holdings Inc., got a loan, according to the Justice Department.

Redding, 27, of Macomb is charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a loan obtained by his company, All Star Room and Board Services of Michigan Inc., according to a Department of Justice statement.

If found guilty, the defendants face up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and money laundering, and up to 30 years for bank fraud and misrepresentation to a federally insured financial institution.

Dixon also faces an additional two years on the aggravated identity theft charge.

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