WA man accused of researching fraudulent PPP loans
Baoke Zhang, a software engineer, allegedly attempted the crime on several occasions, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).
In these cases, he demanded $ 1,525,000 from PPP, claiming that computer companies and fictitious employees deserved loans from the PPP. Small business management (SBA).
Zhang allegedly provided documents containing this false information to the authorities responsible for distributing loans, including an Employer Identification Number (EIN) provided by the IRS for his business, which the IRS had assigned to him a week earlier, allegedly on the basis of false information he had invented. for more than 20 employees.
Several federal officials are quoted in the press release with words of indignation. Deputy Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division called Zhang’s alleged activities a “brazen ploy” to acquire money for legitimate businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
J. Russell George, Inspector General of the Treasury for the Tax Administration, said the allegations took on added gravity and weight because of their emergence amid the pandemic, and vowed to aggressively prosecute those who commit such crimes.
And Raymond Duda, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Seattle field office, said the allegations were “an example of someone trying to take advantage of a program to help Americans during one of the most difficult times in recent memory “.
Fraud during the coronavirus pandemic has taken many forms, including impersonate banks or official entities and request money or private information. And, in a similar case in Zhang, a man from Texas was also accused of inventing employees to defraud PPP funds.
The PPP, which aimed to boost small businesses that do not have funds in place to survive closures, saw many mistakes in which large publicly traded companies and large corporations successfully applied to glean millions from the SBA. Although several of these companies repaid the funds, many withheld them despite increasing public pressure.