The Justice Department said on Tuesday that a Massachusetts pizza restaurant owner was arrested and charged with obtaining a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for his restaurant before selling the business and selling the business. use the loan and subsequent proceeds to purchase an alpaca farm in Vermont. .
A press release from the ministry said Dana McIntyre, 57, had been charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. If convicted, he could face up to 20 years in prison on each count as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.
“In the request, McIntyre allegedly inflated information on pizza restaurant employees and salary expenses and forged an official tax form in an attempt to qualify the business for a larger loan amount,” the department said in the statement. Press.
“The complaint further alleges that after receiving a PPP loan of more than $ 660,000, McIntyre sold the pizza place and used almost all of the funds for his personal expenses, including buying and upgrading a farm in Vermont as well as buy several alpacas, âhe continues. .
McIntyre used other funds from the loan and sale of the business to buy airtime to host a weekly radio show focusing on cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, the Justice Department alleged.
Congress passed the PPP as part of the CARES 2020 Act, a COVID-19 relief program that provided a first round of economic stimulus as the country faced lockdowns imposed to prevent the spread of the virus.
Since then, the authorities have been fighting against fraud concerning loans granted under the program.
In Florida, a man pleaded guilty in February to fraudulently receiving around $ 4 million in PPP loans and using them for personal expenses, including the purchase of a Lamborghini sports car.