Littleton Man charged with Covid fraud | USAO-CO

DENVER — The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Lawrence Phillip Hernandez, 58, of Littleton, has been charged by wire fraud information for taking money, which he received at following a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications he submitted.

On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed into law the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, which provided emergency assistance, administered by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), to small business owners. affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The two main sources of financing for small businesses were the PPP program and EIDL.

Reportedly, from March 30, 2020 to March 2021, Hernandez allegedly devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the United States and two lenders and fraudulently obtain money and property. Hernandez obtained $952,819 in loans and grants through his fraud scheme, including more than $636,000 in PPP loans and $316,800 from the EIDL program. He obtained the loans and grants based on misrepresentations of his company’s gross revenue, cost of goods sold, number of employees, payroll costs and past expenses. Hernandez also submitted fabricated tax and financial documents for 2019. Hernandez reportedly used some of the funds for personal expenses.

Hernandez was arraigned on November 4, 2022 before Magistrate Judge N. Reid Neureiter.

The charge contained in the information is an allegation. The defendant is presumed innocent unless or until proven otherwise.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Denver Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), with assistance from the Small Business Administration-Office of Inspector General, as part of their work with the Task Force on Colorado-based EIDL fraud. The prosecution is being led by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Craig Fansler and Rebecca Weber.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the complaint form NCDF online at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Case number: 22-cr-318

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