A criminal complaint unsealed Thursday charges two New York brothers for allegedly conspiring and submitting at least eight applications for nearly $7 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
As reported Friday by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) Office of Inspector General (OIG), the complaint says that Larry Jordan, 42, Lancaster, N.Y., and Sutukh El, also known as Curtis Jordan and Hugo Hurt, 38, of Buffalo, N.Y., were charged in a complaint filed in the Western District of New York with wire fraud conspiracy.
The complaint alleges that Jordan and El, in support of the fraudulent loan applications, made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ respective business operations and payroll expenses. It says the fraudulent applications were supported by fake documents, including falsified federal tax filings. “For example, included in one application for 5 Stems Inc was a fraudulent IRS filing that appeared to be the company’s 2019 federal unemployment tax return showing that the company paid nearly $3.3 million in employee wages that year. In reality, the IRS has no record of such a filing,” the FDIC said in a release circulated Friday.
The complaint further alleges that Jordan and El used fraudulently obtained loan proceeds on what appear to be personal expenses, including the purchase of securities, home improvements, and a vehicle. It says the government to date has seized more than $400,000 of the more than $600,000 that Jordan and El obtained in their alleged fraud.
The case was investigated by the FBI and the OIGs of the FDIC, Federal Reserve and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Federal Housing Finance Agency, and SBA, the release said.