Thursday, February 29, 2024

Federal authorities have accused 19 Puerto Ricans of using funds because of Covid-19

The defendants and their co-conspirators submitted, from April 2020 to February 2024, approximately 30 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications, requesting the illegal payment of $587,442 in federal Small Business Recovery funds. Administration (SBA).

“This is the fifth round of charges since April 2023 in relation to this fraud scheme. “The investigation is ongoing, and we anticipate more charges,” said US Attorney Muldrow.

The special agent in charge of the IRS-CI office in Miami (Florida), Matthew D. Line, said that “in the IRS criminal investigation, we have been working on these complex cases for almost three years.”

“The investigations involved multiple special agents and expert personnel from multiple federal agencies,” Line said.

He explained that on Wednesday morning, 24 IRS and CI special agents were working to be responsible for the arrest of five people.

The arrests, federal agents said, serve as a reminder that every fraudulent act is like footprints on concrete, and offenders will be brought to justice.

The defendants José Carmona Morales, alias “Cheka”, and Cecy Casiano Santiago, together with Manfred A. Pentzke Lemus (“Man-Accountant-The Manager”), Rodolpho R. Pagesy Roussel (“The Bank”), Augusto A. Lemus Berrios (“Primo”), Jonatan Ben David Prieto Ruiz De Val (“Johnny Millones”), Ligia María Lemus De Pentzke, and others, made a plan to defraud the SBA and “Bank 1.”

The indictment alleges that the 19 defendants submitted at least 30 fraudulent PPP loan applications, which contained false documents, including payroll and bank records, as well as false and fictitious identification documents. -identify to get the disbursement from Bank 1.

“Cheka” and Casiano Santiago are facing a charge of conspiracy to commit money laundering due to the execution of financial transactions involving the proceeds of electronic fraud, along with other people who were previously accused.

The defendants, including Carmona Morales, are also accused of recruiting other unindicted co-conspirators to obtain additional loans under false pretenses, as well as recruiting others to submit fraudulent applications.

If convicted, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison for wire fraud, while “Cheka” and Casiano Santiago face up to 20 years in prison for money laundering.

World Nation News Desk
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