Greenbelt, Maryland – Brandon Fitzgerald-Holley, age 32, of Suitland, Maryland, pleaded guilty nowadays to wire fraud in relation to COVID-19 financial loan fraud.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Lawyer for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron Exclusive Agent in Demand Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Baltimore Subject Office Special Agent in Cost Shimon R. Richmond, Mid-Atlantic Region, Federal Deposit Insurance coverage Company Business of Inspector Common (FDIC-OIG) Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Exclusive Agent in Demand of the Little Enterprise Administration Place of work of Inspector General’s Japanese Area (SBA-OIG) Exclusive Agent in Charge Michael McGill of the Social Safety Administration Office environment of Inspector Standard, Philadelphia Subject Division (SSA-OIG) and Unique Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of the Interior Income Service – Legal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Subject Place of work (IRS-CI).
According to his responsible plea, Fitzgerald-Holley applied his non-operational nonprofit, the Coalition for Social Justice and Reform Integrated (the Coalition), to fraudulently get COVID-19 relief funds. Given that the Coalition’s development in 2018, the nonprofit experienced no personnel, income, or regular functions.
On March 31, 2020, Fitzgerald-Holley submitted an Financial Injury Catastrophe Loan (EIDL) application for $150,000 in resources to the Modest Organization administration (SBA) on behalf of the Coalition. On June 3, 2020, the SBA denied the Coalition’s software for an EIDL. On the identical working day, Fitzgerald-Holley contacted the SBA to request reconsideration of the EIDL application. The SBA did not approve Fitzgerald-Holley’s ask for for reconsideration of his EIDL or deliver Fitzgerald-Holley with any EIDL funding.
Further, on June 13, 2020, shortly soon after Fitzgerald-Holley’s fraudulent EIDL application was denied, Fitzgerald-Holley submitted an application to Establishment 1 for a for a $305,854 Paycheck Security Application (PPP) bank loan. Establishment 1 is an on the net economic engineering enterprise that specializes in small company lending and collaborating as a non-financial institution PPP financial institution.
On the PPP financial loan software, Fitzgerald-Holley falsely detailed that the Coalition used 25 staff members, had an typical month to month payroll price of $122,342. In actuality, the Coalition experienced no staff or payroll expenditures. Fitzgerald-Holley also made and submitted fraudulent documents which includes a fraudulent IRS Kind W-3, which falsely said that the Coalition had 25 workforce with full wages of $1,385,000.
On June 13, 2020, the Coalition’s PPP financial loan software was accredited. Fitzgerald-Holley signed the take note on the personal loan as the CEO of the Coalition. Establishment 1 subsequently deposited $305,854 in PPP loan cash into Fitzgerald-Holley’s particular account on June 16, 2020.
As mentioned in his plea arrangement, on acquiring the fraudulently obtained PPP proceeds, Fitzgerald-Holley utilised the money to obtain private products together with clothes, a pool table, televisions, electronic equipment, a 2020 Dodge Charger Scat, and different components for the automobile. He also used the funds to fund a holiday rental. In total, Fitzgerald-Holley misappropriated $305,854 in PPP bank loan resources.
Fitzgerald-Holley faces a optimum sentence of 20 years in federal jail for wire fraud. United States District Decide George J. Hazel has scheduled sentencing for March 7, 2021 at 10 a.m.
United States Legal professional Erek L. Barron counseled the FBI, FDIC-OIG, SBA-OIG, SSA-OIG, and the IRS-CI for their perform in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin R. Cottingham andTrial Legal professional John Liolos of the Section of Justice Prison Division’s Fraud Portion, who are prosecuting the scenario.
On Could 17, 2021, the Attorney Basic founded the Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Endeavor Drive to marshal the assets of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across govt to boost initiatives to battle and prevent pandemic-associated fraud. The Job Force bolsters attempts to examine and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international legal actors and assists businesses tasked with administering reduction courses to protect against fraud by, amongst other solutions, augmenting and incorporating present coordination mechanisms, pinpointing means and strategies to uncover fraudulent actors and their techniques, and sharing and harnessing info and insights gained from prior enforcement attempts. For far more information and facts on the Department’s reaction to the pandemic, please check out https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anybody with information and facts about allegations of tried fraud involving Covid-19 can report it by contacting the Office of Justice’s Countrywide Center for Catastrophe Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Website Criticism Type at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-grievance-variety.
For much more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Business office, its priorities, and sources accessible to enable the community, make sure you check out https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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