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U.S. NEWS: PPP FRAUD
Cover Photo Courtesy: The Philadelphia Inquirer
37-year old, Francis J. Battista, was reportedly one of 19 defendants charged with defrauding federal programs funded by the Cares Act. A report from MyChesCo.com said, the 19 defendants collectively sought to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) programs out of a total of $24 million.
United States Attorney, Jacqueline C. Romero announced the charges against the defendants last week.
- 52-year old Frank Hamilton of Simi Valley, CA
- 55-year old Michael Jones of Azusa, CA
- 38-year old Kenny Tran of Diamond Bar, CA
- 39-year old Tina Chen of Diamond Bar, CA
- 37-year old Tim Park of Northridge, CA
- 37-year old Peter An of Chatsworth, CA
- 42-year old Joe Greco of Simi Valley, CA
- 36-year old Edwin Bonilla of Los Angeles, CA
Those defendants were charged with conspiring to defraud the SBA and numerous financial institutions of over $9.4 million. The co-conspirators allegedly submitted over 33 applications for PPP and EIDL Loans seeking over $9.4 million in loans. $7 million was funded to the defendants. The fraud scheme ran from January 2018-August 2021.
The others charged with defrauding the Cares Act were charged individually, including Battista, who was charged with filing 19 fraudulent applications for PPP and EIDL loans in 2020 and 2021. Battista reportedly submitted falsified and fake bank records to help obtain around $8.4 million in loans. The Feds say Battista spent the money on a Range Rover, a down payment on a real estate deal, and stock trading. The Feds also say he paid off some old debts with the money he received from the loans. The Feds claim to have recovered around $6.3 million of the $8.4 million Battista received.