TRENTON, NJ – A man from Pennsylvania was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for obtaining a federal guarantee on certain loans by making false representations to the Small Business Administration (SBA) about the creditworthiness of those loans then that he was the loan officer for a Bank of New Jersey, Interim Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.
James Bortolotti, 53, had previously pleaded guilty to U.S. District Judge Michael Shipp of Federal Court in Trenton for information accusing him of knowingly making false statements in order to influence SBA action. Judge Shipp delivered the sentence via video conference today.
According to the documents filed in this case and the statements made in court:
While working as a loan officer for a New Jersey bank (Bank-1), Bortolotti learned about a Small Business Administration loan program designed to induce lenders, including banks, to lend money. money to small businesses by providing a 75% SBA-backed guarantee. on loans. When a lender applies an SBA guarantee on a loan, the lender must disclose information relating to the creditworthiness of the small business. Bank-1 hired a consultancy firm to help the bank apply for SBA-backed guarantees.
On February 29, 2012, a consultant to the consulting firm submitted a claim to the SBA for approximately $ 3.75 million in collateral on loans totaling approximately $ 5 million to a small business located in Robbinsville, New Brunswick. Jersey. The request contained false information relating to the company’s creditworthiness. Bortolotti knew the request contained false information, but nonetheless reviewed and signed the request on behalf of the bank.
In addition to jail time, Judge Shipp sentenced Bortolotti to three years on probation and ordered him to pay $ 3.17 million in restitution to the SBA.
Acting US Attorney Honig credited the Special Agents of the SBA-Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), Eastern Region, under the leadership of Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite; the FDIC-Office of the Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), under the direction of Inspector General Jay N. Lerner; Special Agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and Special Agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of the Inspector General (FHFA-OIG), under the direction of Special Agent at Indict Robert Manchak, with the investigation leading to today’s conviction.
The government is represented by Deputy United States Attorney Lee M. Cortes Jr., Head of the Health Care Enforcement Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office in Newark.