Distributor of promotional products pleads guilty to federal criminal charge
A promotional products distributor charged with COVID-19 personal protective equipment (PPE) scam and also with lying to illegally obtain coronavirus-related business relief loans has pleaded guilty to a charge of doing misrepresentation on a loan/credit application under a plea deal with the federal government.
Utah-based John Anthony Taylor is expected to be sentenced in October in U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, court records show.
Prosecutors have agreed to drop a wire fraud charge against Taylor. That tally was linked to a 2020 case in which he was accused of perpetuating a PPE scam during the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
The misrepresentation charge Taylor pleaded guilty to stems from a case filed earlier this year.
Already facing the charge of wire fraud, Taylor got into more trouble with federal prosecutors in March 2022 for lying about his criminal record to get a loan of about $36,500 from the disaster loan program. (EIDL) from the Small Business Administration and $15,600 from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
In applying for the PPP loan, Taylor certified that he was not “subject to indictment, criminal investigation, indictment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in a any jurisdiction” and that he was not currently on probation or parole. In reality, however, he was on provisional probation for the 2020 wire fraud case.
Once Taylor got the money from the government, he reportedly spent $22,007 of it on a GMC Sierra. Such spending is not permitted under the terms of the loans, which were designed to help keep businesses afloat amid the economic crash of the COVID-19 pandemic. The truck was seized and the authorities would resell it.
Federal authorities have identified Taylor as the owner of Utah-based Positive Marketing LLC and WasatchPromotionalProducts.com. Positive Marketing is not an ASI listed distributor; Wasatch had been listed by the ASI but was fired before any of the allegations. Taylor’s LinkedIn profile also identifies him as the owner of BindersNow.com, which is not listed by ASI.