The Department of Justice (DOJ) unveiled an indictment Thursday against Jorge Abramovs, a man accused of taking advantage of COVID-19 relief legislation to fraudulently acquire $1.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The defendant allegedly did so by applying for relief multiple times on behalf of multiple corporations, each time providing false information about the number of employees and payroll at the companies.
The fraudulent acts alleged in the indictment occurred between April and June 2020, just months after the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was passed. While the loan applications required Abramovs to use the funds to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments,” the defendant reportedly used the funds for personal expenses, including real estate and luxury vehicles.
The defendant was charged with five counts of bank fraud, one count of making a false statement to a monetary institution, and five counts of making transactions in criminally derived property.
A press release accompanying the indictment revealed that “(i)n the nine months since the PPP began, (DOJ) Fraud Section attorneys have prosecuted more than 100 defendants in more than 70 criminal cases.”
“The Fraud Section has also seized more than $60 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds,” according to the release.