Federal government accuses Edison Man of stealing $ 1.3 million from COVID-19 PPP loan program

An Edison man was arrested today on charges related to his role in fraudulently obtaining $ 1.3 million in Federal Paycheck Protection Program (P3) loans and loans in the event of economic disaster (EIDL), Acting Prosecutor Rachael A. Honig announced today.

Federal officials have said that Mr. Jordan C. Larkins, 31, of Edison, is charged by complaint with three counts of bank fraud, seven counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

Larkins is scheduled to appear by videoconference for the first time this afternoon before US investigating judge Jessica S. Allen.

According to the documents filed in this case and the statements made in court:

Larkins submitted three fraudulent PPP loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of three alleged companies and a total of seven EIDL applications to the Small Business Association (SBA) on behalf of four alleged companies.

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) law is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $ 349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job maintenance and certain other expenses, through the PPP.

In April 2020, Congress authorized more than $ 300 billion in additional P3 funding.

The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a two-year term and an interest rate of 1%.

The proceeds of the PPP loan are to be used by businesses on salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.

PPP allows for the forgiveness of interest and principal on the PPP loan if the company spends the loan proceeds on those expenses within a specified time after receiving the proceeds and uses at least a certain percentage of the PPP loan proceeds on the expenses. salary. .

The claims submitted by Larkins allegedly contained fraudulent statements to participating lenders and the SBA, including false federal tax return documents. According to Social Security Administration records, no salary or W-2 form was processed for any of the entities between 2018 and 2020.

Larkins also fabricated bank statements, the identities of certain individuals appearing on the applications and the driver’s licenses of the alleged candidates.

The lenders and the SBA have approved Larkins’ PPP loan applications, EIDL SBA loan applications, and EIDL advance payments, and provided the alleged Larkins businesses with approximately $ 1.3 million in federal relief funds. emergency COVID-19 for small businesses in difficulty.

The three counts of bank fraud each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $ 1 million; the seven counts of wire fraud each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years, and the two counts of money laundering each carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.

Charges of wire fraud and money laundering are punishable by a fine of up to $ 250,000 or double the gross gain for the defendant or the gross loss for the victim, whichever is greater. .

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