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Sunday, December 04, 2022

Lakewood man sentenced to jail for threatening to blow up government offices

Lakewood man sentenced to jail for threatening to blow up government offices

On Friday, May 27, a Lakewood man was sentenced to eight months in federal prison for threatening to attack Small Business Administration offices and employees in response to his inability to obtain a COVID-19 emergency business loan.

Christopher Antoun, 30, pleaded guilty in March to a single federal count of intimidation by interstate communications, a felony with a prison sentence of up to five years, according to the US Attorney’s office.

Antoun — who owned Federal Student Loan Consulting, a company he ran out of his home — attempted to obtain a COVID-19 emergency injury disaster loan two years ago, court papers show.

Such loans provide borrower-friendly capital to small businesses affected by the pandemic.

On May 3, 2020, after failing to get approval for a loan or advance, Anton sent a message to an SBA-monitored email account and wrote, “It goes to my bank account tonight or I can’t get it every time.” start bombing the location owned by the SBA,” according to their plea agreement filed in Los Angeles.

An SBA loan officer in Texas received the email and contacted law enforcement.

Prosecutors said that when law enforcement interviewed Anton at his home, they said he was high on marijuana and intoxicated when he sent the threatening email and that he had no intention of carrying out the threat. Anton was warned.

But during the summer and fall of 2021, Anton again attempted to obtain SBA-backed loans and loan advances. After difficulty receiving the funds, Antoun sent a threatening email to several SBA employees.

In that email, Anton threatened to walk into the SBA’s Los Angeles district office “with my nice shiny bat” and “start banging the skulls of SBA employees,” court papers show.

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