According to court documents, Lee Price III, 30, of Houston, Texas is the latest man to get sentenced in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud case. And with hundreds of criminals under indictment by the Department of Justice (DOJ), he won’t be the last.

Texas Man Sentenced to 9 Years in PPP Loan Fraud Scheme

According to the DOJ, Price was given a 110-month sentence in a scheme designed to get and launder proceeds by defrauding the PPP. Price pleaded guilty in September to charges of wire fraud and money laundering. Even though Price fell short of his initial $2.6 million goal, he nevertheless managed to get $1.6 million in PPP loan funds.

This was achieved by submitting PPP loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of three companies. Using 713 Construction LLC, Price Enterprises Holdings LLC, and Price Logistic Services LLC, Price applied for more than $2.6 million. However, he ended up with $1.6 million by falsifying the number of employees, payroll expenses, fraudulent tax records, and other materials in each of the PPP loan applications.

Spending the Loot

When it came to spending the loot, Price didn’t hold back. The DOJ says he had many purchases, including a Lamborghini Urus, a Ford F-350 truck, a Rolex watch, and paying off a loan on a residential property.

The DOJ and other law enforcement partners managed to seize over $700,000 of the funds Price fraudulently obtained. The case was investigated by the FHFA-OIG, SBA-OIG, and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Since the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Fraud Section, which leads the Criminal Division’s prosecution of fraud schemes that exploit the PPP has to date prosecuted over 150 defendants in more than 95 criminal cases. It has also seized more than $75 million in cash as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items.

For those who have committed these crimes, it is only a matter of time before the hammer falls and they start doing time in federal prisons. In the words of Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicolas McQuaid:

“TO ANYONE THINKING OF USING THE GLOBAL PANDEMIC AS AN OPPORTUNITY TO SCAM AND STEAL FROM HARDWORKING AMERICANS, MY ADVICE IS SIMPLE. DON’T. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHERE YOU ARE, WE WILL FIND YOU AND PROSECUTE YOU TO THE FULLEST EXTENT OF THE LAW.”

image: justice.gov

More Cases on the Way

Take a look at the court documents (cases publicly charged up to August 6, 2021). This is not the complete list, as the DOJ is still working many other cases.

Please note the court documents below have all been unsealed.

District of Arizona

Central District of California

  • U.S. v. Robert Benlevi
  • U.S. v Oumar Sissoko
  • U.S. v. Richard Ayvazyan et al
  • U.S. v Hassan Kanyike
  • U.S. v. William Sadleir
  • U.S. v. Andrew Marnell

Northern District of California

District of Colorado

District of Columbia

  • U.S. v. Oludamilare Olugbuyi

Southern District of Florida

  • U.S. v Leonel Rivero
  • U.S. v Cindi Denton
  • U.S. v Devonte Thames
  • U.S. v Ioannis Kralievits
  • U.S. v Justin Etwaru
  • U.S. v Jerrica Rosado
  • U.S. v Shanrika Duhart
  • U.S. v Yashica Bain
  • U.S. v Dennes Garcia
  • U.S. v Jonathan Markovich et al
  • U.S. v Tonye Johnson
  • U.S. v Diamond Blue Smith
  • U.S. v. Carlos Belone
  • U.S. v. David Hines
  • U.S. v. Dennis Nobbe
  • U.S. v. Keyaira Bostic
  • U.S. v. Damion Mckenzie
  • U.S. v. Andre Clark
  • U.S. v. Latoya Stanley, et al.
  • U.S. v. Tiara Walker
  • U.S. v. Joshua Bellamy

Northern District of Georgia

  • U.S. v. Charmaine Redding
  • U.S. v. Denesseria Slaton
  • U.S. v. Wook Chung
  • U.S. v. Yun Jae Moon
  • U.S. v. Rodericque Jarmaine Thompson et al
  • U.S. v Hunter VanPelt
  • U.S. v. Darrell Thomas, et al.
  • U.S. v. Kenneth L. Wright, Jr.
  • U.S. v. Chandra Norton
  • U.S. v. Stanley Dorceus
  • U.S. v. Mark A. Stewart
  • U.S. v. Timothy Williams
  • U.S. v. Antonio D. Hosey

District of Hawaii

Northern District of Illinois

Middle District of Louisiana

District of Massachusetts

  • U.S. v. Elijah Majak Buoi

Eastern District of Michigan

  • U.S. v Michael Bischoff
  • U.S. v. Antonio George

District of Minnesota

  • U.S. v. Kyle William Brenizer

District of Montana

  • U.S. v. Matthew Jason Welch

District of Nevada

  • U.S. v. Jorge Abramovs
  • U.S. v. Karen Chapon
  • U.S. v. Brandon Casutt
  • U.S. v. Bryan Robinson

District of New Jersey

  • U.S. v Gregory Blotnick
  • U.S. v Rocco Malanga
  • U.S. v. Jae H. Choi

Western District of New York

  • U.S. v. Christian Johnson
  • U.S. v. Larry D. Jordan II, et al.

Eastern District of North Carolina

Middle District of North Carolina

  • U.S. v. David Christopher Redfern

Western District of North Carolina

Northern District of Ohio

  • U.S. v. James Richard Stote, et al.
  • U.S. v. Ross Charno
  • U.S. v. Phillip Augustin
  • U.S. v. Wyleia Nashon Williams

Northern District of Oklahoma

District of South Carolina

  • U.S. v. Roosevelt Roshelle Hunt
  • U.S. v. Lauren Marcel Duhart, et al.

Eastern District of Texas

  • U.S. v. Shashank Shekhar Rai
  • U.S. v. Samuel Morgan Yates
  • U.S. v. Fahad H. Shah

Northern District of Texas

Southern District of Texas

  • U.S. v Lola Shalewa Barbara Kasali
  • U.S. v Amir Aqeel et al
  • U.S. v. Jase DePaul Gautreaux
  • U.S. v. Joshua Thomas Argires
  • U.S. v. Lee Price III

Western District of Washington

  • U.S. v Austin Hsu
  • U.S. v. Baoke Zhang
  • U.S. v. Eric Shibley
  • U.S. v. Makund Mohan

Eastern District of Wisconsin

  • U.S. v Thomas Smith
  • U.S. v Tarone de La Woods
  • U.S. v Deon Petty
  • U.S. v Marvin Fitzgerald

    Image: Depositphotos

Source: Small Business Trends

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