On the peak of the COVID-19 disaster, the federal authorities created the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to assist small companies keep financially afloat. However this system that approved as much as $659 billion towards job retention and different bills turned a goal for shady companies.
By March 2021, federal prosecutors charged at least 120 individuals with PPP fraud. Celebs are amongst those that have been convicted, together with Love and Hip Hop: Miami star Diamond “Child Blue” Smith who was sentenced in December to twenty months in jail for a PPP rip-off.
In one of many newest situations, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on Jan. 13 that the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace within the Northern District of Georgia lately indicted 19 individuals in Georgia, together with celebs, on expenses that they defrauded PPP for greater than $3 million. Seven separate indictments hyperlink fraudulent mortgage purposes to an Atlanta-based enterprise marketing consultant who was paid for every mortgage that was funded.
One defendant, Mark C. Mason Jr., a former working again for the College of Maryland, was charged independently but in addition named within the six different lawsuits as an “unindicted co-conspirator,” the newspaper reported, citing court docket paperwork it obtained.
In line with the AJC, a number of celebs are amongst these indicted within the scheme, together with actress Ion Overman who appeared in Determined Housewives, music producer Carlos “Clos” Stephens who has labored with Grasp P, and actor Dale Godboldo who appeared in The Individuals v. O.J. Simpson.
The prosecutors allege that the defendants collaborated with Mason to submitted pretend variations of previous IRS Form 941, the Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return, that reported false payroll numbers to an permitted PPP lender. In line with the indictments, the submitted paperwork have been really by no means filed with the IRS.
Mason, who allegedly submitted pretend PPP mortgage purposes for 2 of his personal companies, was accused of receiving a “success payment” of between 2-5% for loans awarded from the purposes he helped different defendants submit.