Philadelphia District Attorney Charged With Pandemic Relief Fraud | USAO-MDPA
SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Pennsylvania announced that on December 13, 2021, Jonathan Olivetti, 41, of Philadelphia, Pa., Was charged with criminal information of wire fraud in connection with ‘a ploy to get COVID-19 pandemic relief money that he was not entitled to receive.
According to US Attorney John C. Gurganus, the information alleges that between June 18, 2020 and February 2021, Olivetti, a licensed attorney, applied for two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and two Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) on behalf of of Olivetti Law, LLC. Both loan programs were authorized or extended by the Coronavirus Assistance, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) – a federal law enacted in March 2020 that provided emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from financial hardship due to the economic impact of the crisis. Covid pandemic19.
Regarding PPP loans, Olivetti allegedly misrepresented inflating Olivetti Law, LLC’s payroll in online claims and received $ 41,600 based on these false claims. In addition, Olivetti applied for two Economic Disaster Loans (“EIDL”) that were to provide low-interest financing (including repayable advances of $ 10,000) to small businesses facing significant financial disruption resulting of the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivetti’s EIDL loan applications were each asking for approximately $ 62,500 on behalf of Olivetti Law, LLC. The requests contained inflated Olivetti Law gross receipts and ultimately were not approved by the SBA.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies responsible for administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Enforcement (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF online complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The case has been investigated by the Internal Revenue Service. Assistant US Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is pursuing the case.
Criminal information is just allegations. All those charged are presumed innocent until found guilty by a court.
A sentence for a conviction is imposed by the judge after reviewing applicable federal sentencing laws and federal sentencing guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years imprisonment, a supervised release sentence after imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the judge is also required to 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 defendant, protect the public, and provide for the educational, professional and medical needs of the defendant. For these reasons, the maximum statutory sentence for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a particular accused.