August 17, 2022

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Two Individuals Sentenced for COVID-19 Relief Fraud | OPA

A Georgia male was sentenced now to 18 months in federal prison for fraudulently getting $285,742 by a Paycheck Defense Software (PPP) personal loan certain by the Compact Organization Administration (SBA) beneath the Coronavirus Help, Aid, and Financial Security Act.

Dennes Garcia, 28, of Atlanta, pleaded guilty in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud on July 6. In accordance to court files, Garcia admitted to getting a PPP personal loan of $285,742 for his very own organization, Dhanda Corporation, centered on fake details about the company’s selection of workforce and regular payroll, and based on bogus supporting tax documents. Garcia also admitted that he wrote himself a check out for $100,000 employing the PPP bank loan proceeds, and additional admitted that he paid far more than $71,000 to an alleged co-conspirator, James Stote, as a kickback for his assistance in getting ready and distributing the fraudulent bank loan application. In addition to his jail sentence, Garcia was requested to spend $285,742 in restitution and $285,742 in forfeiture.   

Relatedly, Cindi Denton, 63, of Eastvale, California, was sentenced on Oct. 8 to six months in jail and 12 months of household confinement following pleading responsible in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to dedicate wire fraud on July 22. According to courtroom paperwork, Denton admitted to getting a PPP mortgage of $491,310 for her own organization, Emerald Jade Options Inc., based mostly on phony info about the company’s range of staff and ordinary payroll and dependent on fake supporting tax files. Denton also admitted that she despatched a $150,000 wire to her private checking account using the PPP bank loan proceeds, and additional admitted that she paid far more than $98,000 to alleged co-conspirator Stote as a kickback for his guidance in making ready and distributing the fraudulent PPP loan software. In addition to her jail sentence, Denton was requested to spend $377,883.91 in restitution and $377,883.91 in forfeiture.   

Stote was charged by complaint on June 24, 2020, with wire fraud, lender fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. His situation stays pending.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division Acting U.S. Legal professional Juan Antonio “Tony” Gonzalez of the Southern District of Florida Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) Miami Field Office Particular Agent in Demand George L. Piro of the FBI’s Miami Area Business and Exclusive Agent in Demand Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite of the SBA’s Office environment of Inspector General (SBA-OIG) Jap Area built the announcement.

IRS-CI, the FBI, and SBA-OIG investigated the scenarios.

Demo Attorney Philip Trout of the Prison Division’s Fraud Segment and Assistant U.S. Lawyer Lindsey Lazopoulos Friedman of the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the scenarios.

The Fraud Portion qualified prospects the department’s prosecution of fraud strategies that exploit the PPP. Considering that the PPP started, Fraud Area lawyers have prosecuted extra than 100 defendants in a lot more than 70 criminal instances. The Fraud Portion has also seized extra than $65 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently received PPP funds, as nicely as several genuine estate houses and luxurious goods procured with such proceeds. Far more information and facts can be located at https://www.justice.gov/prison-fraud/ppp-fraud.

On May possibly 17, 2021, the Legal professional Normal recognized the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Activity Power to marshal the means of the Section of Justice in partnership with businesses across federal government to boost initiatives to fight and avert pandemic-related fraud. The Activity Drive bolsters attempts to look into and prosecute the most culpable domestic and intercontinental legal actors and helps organizations tasked with administering reduction plans to prevent fraud by, among other approaches, augmenting and incorporating current coordination mechanisms, determining means and procedures to uncover fraudulent actors and their strategies, and sharing and harnessing data and insights acquired from prior enforcement efforts. For additional details on the department’s reaction to the pandemic, be sure to pay a visit to https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Any one with details about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by contacting the Department of Justice’s Countrywide Heart for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Web Criticism Variety at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-catastrophe-grievance-variety.

A grievance is just an allegation, and all defendants are presumed innocent until eventually established guilty outside of a sensible doubt in a court docket of regulation.