A man from Louisiana has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $1.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program loans.
The indictment states that 56-year-old Michael Ansezell Tolliver of Louisiana submitted nine fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program loan application on behalf of a number of businesses that Tolliver purportedly owned. The companies include Tolliver Oil & Gas Corporation of Louisiana Inc. and Tolliver Petroleum Corporation of Louisiana.
Louisiana Man Indicted on $1.1 Million PPP Fraud
The case highlights how imperative it is to provide true and accurate information when applying for loan programs. Falsifying claims can lead to court indictments bearing hefty fines and even prison sentences.
As Lowenstein Sandler, the New Jersey based law firm, states: “False statements or other fraudulent conduct in connection with a PPP loan may subject a violator to significant federal criminal liability in a number of ways. The PPP itself specifies that applicants must certify the application and indicates applicants may be penalized for “knowingly making a false statement to obtain a guaranteed loan from SBA,” and knowingly using the funds for unauthorized purposes.”
Dishonest Federal Tax Returns
Tolliver falsified information in the loan application and supporting documents. He dishonestly claimed that some of his businesses had more than 100 employees. He also submitted inaccurate federal tax returns. In total, Tolliver attempted to claim more than $7.6 million in PPP and EIDL Program loans and obtain more than $1.1 million.
Faces Hefty Prison Sentence if Convicted
As a result of his fraudulent actions, Tolliver has been charged with two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. A summons is to be issued and Tolliver will make an appearance before US Magistrate Judge Kayla McCluskey of the US District Court in the Western District of Louisiana. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison per count of wire fraud and ten years in prison per count of money laundering.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are the two biggest stimulus programs for small businesses.
Applying for the loans ensures that small businesses can take full advantage of them to support their business. Falsifying information to acquire the loans is bad business practice, which can jeopardize a business’s reputation, not to mention lead to significant criminal convictions.