Rudoplh Brooks Jr, a pastor from Maryland, faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison after using “$ 3.5 million in PPP Covid loans to buy Tesla,” the FBI said. According to authorities, he used fraudulent funds from the Paycheck Protection Program to purchase 39 cars, including a Bentley, Mercedes and Tesla.
Authorities also seized $ 2.2 million from his bank accounts. Pastor is the founder of Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries and also owns a few other businesses, which he has used to file loan applications and acquire the funds.
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Who is Pastor Rudolph E Brooks?
According to the Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries, Inc. website, Brooks Jr is the founder and senior pastor of the Washington DC-based ministry. He also states that he knew he was destined to be a preacher very early in life, stating that “he had a call for the ministry.”
The website also mentions that he has “an intense love for the Lord, a relentless mind and an ability to tap into the very heart of God make him a memorable speaker.” He is also said to be a vivid and memorable preacher who can “hold the attention of even skeptics”.
According to an article in The Sun, Brooks applied for an economic disaster loan on April 7, 2020, and about a month later, on May 9, he applied for PPP loans as part of his business, Car Direct. However, the said business was “ confiscated ” in 2012 to be relaunched on May 28, 2020.
As reported by Daily Beast, the car and bank accounts were seized after the pastor made fraudulent claims to the paycheck protection program for $ 3.5 million. He reportedly submitted PPP loan applications for $ 1.5 million, $ 1.8 million and $ 200,000 and filed with three of his companies – Cars Direct, Kingdom Tabernacle and Madaro Celtic Bank. He also used bogus tax and payroll forms to secure the funds, none of which were filed with the IRS.
What did he do with the money?
After receiving the money, he allegedly transferred it to 11 different bank accounts, all of which were his. Brooks received $ 1,556,589 on May 9, after which he opened another bank account and transferred $ 500,000.
Authorities say he then used it to buy restaurant meals, groceries, instruments, and even paid his credit card bills and loans with cash. He also bought a 2018 Tesla Model 3, which costs $ 60,000 and deposited a $ 10,000 deposit on a house.
He is also said to have purchased a number of “ older luxury vehicles, ” such as a 2005 Bentley Continental, a 2014 GMC Yukon XL, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, two 2017 Infinity Q50s and a 2017 Mercedes Benz S Class.
Federal authorities have seized more than $ 2.29 million from the 11 accounts as well as the Tesla Model 3. It is currently facing wire fraud charges in connection with the alleged P3 fraud. According to the Justice Department, if convicted, Brooks could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, with three years of supervised release.