The Department of Justice published a press release on November 9th, 2022 detailing a Cary citizen’s multi-million dollar fraud scheme abusing the Paycheck Protection Act (PPP) COVID-19 loan program.
PPP loans were created as part of the CARES Act to help struggling businesses survive during the beginning of the pandemic. Companies could apply for a PPP loan to pay rent, operating expenses, and payroll. The loan could then be partially or fully forgiven by the U.S. Government if certain conditions were met.
Due to the ease of obtaining a PPP loan, an estimated $80 billion of fraud was part of the $800 billion that the U.S. Government gave out, or about 10%. Many more instances of fraud are being uncovered as the Department of Justice investigates the recipients of the program.
56-year-old Quentin Allen Jackson, who legally owns several businesses, took advantage of the PPP program by writing paychecks to co-conspirators and having them cash the checks and return the money to him. The report also explains that Jackson charged a fee and recruited others to participate in the fraud that he was committing. A total of over $4 million of PPP fraud has been attributed to Jackson and those connected to his scheme.
Jackson pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering and will be sentenced at some point next year. Jackson faces up to twenty years in prison and a potential fine.
On the same day the press release was published, the Department of Justice announced that another North Carolina man from New Bern used COVID-19-related loans to launder money.