NEWARK, NJ – A man in Middlesex County, New Jersey was arrested today on charges relating to his role in fraudulently obtaining $ 1.3 million in loans from the Federal Check Protection Program Payroll (PPP) and Disaster Economic Loans (EIDL), Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced today.
Jordan C. Larkins, 31, of Edison, New Jersey, 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 retention 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. salaries. .
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 salaries or W-2 forms were processed for any of the entities between 2018 and 2020. Larkins also fabricated bank statements, with the identities of certain individuals listed on the applications and driving license 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. The counts 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. .
Acting US Attorney Rachael Honig credited Postal Inspectors of the US Postal Inspection Service, Newark Division, under the direction of Acting Inspector-in-Charge Raimundo Marrero; IRS Special Agents – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Montanez; and special agents from the Inspector General’s Office of Social Security Administration, New York Field Division, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John Grasso, with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant United States Attorney Fatime Meka Cano of the Government Fraud Unit of the Office of the United States Attorney in Newark.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https: //www.justice. gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are only charges, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.