October 2, 2022

New Jersey Scammer Sentenced to Two Years in Prison for Stealing More Than $481K in Covid Relief Funds

On Thursday, a person from New Jersey was sentenced to greater than two years in federal jail for stealing greater than $481,000 in COVID reduction funds.

Appearing US Legal professional Rachael A. Honig introduced that Bernard Lopez, 40, of Sayreville, was sentenced to 30 months in jail for receiving fraudulent Fee Safety Program [PPP] funds for a pretend enterprise and depositing a stolen, altered treasury examine for $211,886.87.

Court docket paperwork present that Lopez allegedly deposited the US Treasury examine into an organization referred to as Pezlo Administration, LLC. Nonetheless, earlier than the financial institution may establish the fraud, he eliminated the cash from the fictional company account.

Lopez filed a fraudulent PPP mortgage on behalf of “Company-1,” a pretend firm he claimed to personal, in June 2020. The mortgage was supposed to assist small companies struggling throughout the pandemic.

In accordance to investigators, Lopez claimed his firm had 25 staff, $192,000 in month-to-month payroll prices, plus different mortgage and utility prices. Lopez’s utility was permitted, and he bought $481,502 in emergency reduction funds that he spent on private use.

In July of final 12 months, Lopez was arrested after a multi-agency investigation in Florida and was later transferred again to NJ by authorities.

As well as to his two years in jail, Lopez was additionally sentenced to three years of supervised launch, in addition to $137,000 in reparations and forfeiture of $481,502.