A man in Connecticut is accused of taking $373,201 in PPP loans to fund a phony accounting firm:
Eric James O’Neil, 57, was arrested Aug. 9 at his Bethel home on an arrest warrant and indictment issued by federal court in Boise, Idaho, where the bank that processed the loan is based.
O’Neil formed Accountant “R” Us Inc. in 2013, according to the indictment, and it was based at a shared office space in Tarrytown, according to a state corporation record.
O’Neil certified that Accountant “R” Us Inc. had been in operation in February 2020, according to the indictment. He submitted a payroll log showing 22 employees and their salaries, as well as quarterly tax and corporate income tax forms. His profit and loss statements showed $702,500 in gross revenue in the second quarter of 2019, $516,875 a year later and $447,842 in employee wages for both periods.
In fact, the indictment states, Accountant “R” Us did not have any legitimate business operations in 2019 and 2020. There were no employees. The purported tax forms were never filed with the IRS. The profit and loss statements were fraudulent.
The feds claim that O’Neil did not intend to use the funds for the required purposes “because Accountant “R” Us had no employees, payroll expenses, mortgage interest, lease or utility bills.”
If convicted, the bank fraud charge could result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years.