California Man Pleads Guilty to Scamming $9M From COVID Relief Programs

relief, covid, programs, loans, marnell,
Gulf
  • Date: 15-Sep-2021
  • Source: Newsweek
  • Sector: Healthcare
  • Country: Gulf
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California Man Pleads Guilty to Scamming $9M From COVID Relief Programs

A California man pleaded guilty to federal charges that said he scammed $9 million in COVID relief loans, some of which he gambled away, according to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) on Tuesday.

Andrew Marnell, 41, of Los Angeles admitted to fraudulently obtaining seven Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans that he acquired after making numerous false and misleading statements about corporations he controlled, according to court documents.

In the program applications, Marnell misrepresented companies' business operations and payroll expenses, often using aliases and altered documents including "bogus" federal tax filings and employee payroll records.

After obtaining money from his scheme, Marnell transferred millions of dollars in COVID relief loans to his brokerage accounts to make "risky stock market bets" and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars gambling including at a Las Vegas casino, according to the DOJ.

PPP loans were established by the Small Business Administration in March 2020 through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to help companies with 500 employees or less as well as nonprofits and sole proprietors.

A Los Angeles plead guilty to federal charges that said he scammed $9 million in COVID relief loans. Senator Angus King, of Maine, sets up a sign alongside a bipartisan