Stoughton Man arrested for $400,000 in COVID-Relief fraud | USAO-MA

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BOSTON — A Stoughton man was arrested and charged today for allegedly filing a fraudulent loan application to obtain more than $400,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds.

Adley Bernadin, 44, has been charged with one count of wire fraud. Bernadin was conditionally released following an initial appearance in federal court in Boston before U.S. District Court Judge Marianne B. Bowler this morning.

According to the criminal complaint, in May 2020, Bernadin submitted a fraudulent application on behalf of an alleged home health care company for a PPP loan of over $400,000. It is alleged that in the application, which he submitted through a lender approved by the Small Business Administration, Bernadin misrepresented information about the employees and salary expenses of the alleged home health care company. and falsified a tax form in an effort to qualify the business for the PPP loan. For example, Bernadin allegedly reported that the alleged home health care business had a monthly payroll of $175,200, however, records do not support this representation.

After receiving the PPP funds, Bernadin reportedly used the money to make mortgage payments and to write checks to people he had a personal relationship with.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of repayable loans to small businesses for the maintenance of employment and certain approved expenses, through the PPP.

The wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or double the gross gain or loss of the scheme, whichever is greater. raised. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on US sentencing guidelines and the laws that govern sentencing in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and William A. Kalb, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, Northeast Field Division, made the announcement today . Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin A. Saltzman of Rollins’ Securities, Finance, and Cyber ​​Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

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 via NCDF’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

The details contained in the complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt by a court.


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