Published on June 04, 2022 at 08:27
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Intermediate District of Pennsylvania announced that Julian J. Levons, 64, of Henryville, Monroe County, pleaded guilty Thursday to carrying out a wire fraud and money laundering scheme. money for COVID-19 relief guaranteed by the Small Business Administration through the Economic Disaster Loan program.
The plea was entered after Levons’ trial on Tuesday.
The loan program is designed to help small businesses facing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funded by the CARES Act of March 2020, the funds are offered in the form of low-interest loans, intended for specific business expenses, such as fixed debts, payroll and business obligations.
According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, Levons was charged with obtaining two EIDL loans for a combined amount of approximately $300,000 and attempting to obtain a third EIDL loan of approximately $150,000.
Court documents say Levons falsified income and expense figures for two supposed small businesses he and his wife owned. The money was reportedly used to pay off a high-interest line of credit for Levons’ personal expenses and to pay off a high-interest mortgage on a rental property, despite the ban on using EIDL funds to refinance pre-existing debt. Investigators seized more than $210,000 in fraudulently obtained EIDL funds from bank accounts under its control.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud.
The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminals and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by augmenting and integrating existing coordination mechanisms , identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling 866-720-5721 or via the online complaint form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.