Philly man allegedly stole nearly $ 1 million in federal paycheck protection program loans and bought Florida house, diamonds and vehicles, Fed says

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Philadelphia man accused of stealing nearly $ 1 million in paycheck protection program funds provided to his business by the federal government during COVID-19 pandemic and using the money to buy a Florida home, vehicles and jewelry, authorities said.

Devron Brown, 50, was charged on Tuesday with two counts of bank fraud and nine counts of money laundering in an alleged scheme to obtain and abuse PPP loans, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the United States. eastern district of Pennsylvania.

The indictment alleges Brown fraudulently obtained around $ 937,500 in P3 funds after submitting a claim last June with incorrect information about his alleged construction company, Just Us Construction Inc.

Prosecutors say Brown made several false statements about the number of employees at his company, how much he paid in wages and payroll taxes and how he intended to use the loans.

He allegedly used the funds for a new Florida home, a motorcycle, two vehicles and diamond jewelry, according to the indictment.

Brown reportedly submitted a second fraudulent PPP loan application earlier this year, but it was turned down by the Small Business Administration.

“Paycheck Protection Program funds are intended to help small US businesses continue to pay their employees, even as revenues have fallen dramatically due to the pandemic,” Acting US Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams said. “The thieves who try to take these funds take advantage of the misfortune of others – scam them while scamming all the taxpayers who fund the program.”

The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the SBA last year to help businesses stay afloat and continue paying their workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Paycheck Protection Program was created to provide emergency financial assistance to businesses and employees affected by the pandemic,” said FBI Special Agent Michael J. Driscoll. Unfortunately, opportunistic criminals with dollar signs in their eyes quickly got to work trying to defraud the federal government by demanding cuts in funds. The FBI will continue to aggressively prosecute those who use P3 money to fund their own lavish lifestyle at taxpayer expense. “

If convicted on all charges, Brown faces a maximum of 150 years in prison with three years of supervised release, a fine of $ 4.25 million, restitution and a special assessment of $ 1,100.



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