In an alleged Motor Metropolis cash seize, an area man is accused of swiping funds from the federal Payroll Safety Program (PPP) — which is supposed to assist hold small companies afloat amid the coronavirus shutdowns — to buy two Cadillacs, a Dodge Charger and a Hummer, in accordance to federal prosecutors.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is designed as a lifeline to businesses struggling to survive this current crisis,” FBI Particular Agent in Cost Steven M. D’Antuono mentioned. “Instead of using these loans to salvage a legitimate business, the defendant allegedly bought expensive personal items for himself and his family.”
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The Justice Division (DOJ) mentioned Wednesday that Darrell Baker, 51, of Detroit, Mich., allegedly applied for and obtained a $590,000 PPP mortgage for a defunct photo voltaic power enterprise. The loans are designed to assist small companies keep payroll as the results of coronavirus shutdowns pressure the financial system.
“Baker is charged with lying to obtain money that was supposed to help small businesses struggling with their payroll and expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.S. Lawyer Matthew Schneider mentioned in a statement. “Defrauding banks to obtain loans is never acceptable, and doing so during our current national emergency is unconscionable.”
Investigators mentioned they discovered that the enterprise, Motorcity Photo voltaic Vitality Inc., noticed the state dissolve its company standing in July 2019. The COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic in March of this yr.
However PPP paperwork confirmed Baker had claimed that Motorcity employed 68 folks and had a $2.eight million payroll all through final yr, in accordance to the DOJ. It didn’t have an account with the state’s unemployment program — which authorities mentioned is a prerequisite for any employer within the state — and addresses listed as enterprise places turned out to be empty suites or single-family houses.
Two days after receiving the mortgage, Baker allegedly purchased 4 cashier’s checks and withdrew one other $60,000 in money, in accordance to the prison grievance.
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He’s accused of shopping for two Cadillac Escalades, a Dodge Charger and a Hummer. He allegedly gave one automobile every to his sister and brother-in-law and saved the opposite two for himself, investigators mentioned.
“The FBI is committed to investigating anyone who seeks to take advantage of a global pandemic to line their own pockets at the expense of American taxpayers,” D’Antuono mentioned.