The Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP) loans have been essential in keeping small businesses on their feet as the coronavirus pandemic ravages the economy. A forty year old California man was arrested on Thursday for wrongfully receiving nearly $9 million of corona relief funds. Andrew Marnell, a resident of Beverly Grove in Los Angeles, allegedly submitted a number of fraudulent loan applications to receive PPP funds. Marnell spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Las Vegas at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino, and other gambling establishments along the strip.
The US Department of Justice prosecutors said that he claimed the money through applications from different companies, where he made misleading and false statements about his company payroll expenses. He also used altered documents as well as aliases to support his fraudulent claims. Marnell made risky stock market bets by moving millions of dollars to his brokerage account. Prosecutors said Marnell faces up to 30 years in prison on the bank fraud charge.
Last Thursday, prosecutors charged and arrested another person for taking advantage of the PPP loan. An Arkansas woman, Ganell Tubbs was charged for lying in applications to get $2 million in coronavirus relief loans. According to prosecutors, Tubb filed applications relating to two businesses, called ‘The Little Piglet Soap Company, LLC’ and ‘Suga Girl Customs, LLC’. She falsely reported in the applications that the companies have 30-50 employees in one and 210 in the other, which was false as neither of these companies were in good standing. Prosecutors said that she listed home residence and phone number under the contact information for both businesses. She was released on bonds.
The PPP loans were part of the $2.2trillion CARES Act, which provided aid for millions of Americans that have been impacted by the coronavirus. The PPP loan is meant to provide forgivable loans to small businesses to help with employee job retention, payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities if spent within a set time period of time.
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