NJ man who got $1.6 million in fraudulent COVID business loans heads to federal prison

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A 32-year-old New Jersey man is heading to federal prison after fraudulently obtaining about $1.6 million in coronavirus-loans linked to the start of the pandemic.

Jordan C. Larkins, of Edison, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, the United States Attorney’s Office for New Jersey said in a statement.

Larkins applied for three Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and 11 Economic Disaster Disaster Loans (EIDL) between May and July 2020 by submitting false federal tax returns and payroll records along with false statements banks, according to federal prosecutors.

Investigators say Larkins lied about the number of people he employed as well as the gross revenue of his company, Silver Star, in the year before the pandemic began. He also fabricated the identities of people he listed as candidates and falsified their driver’s licenses, officials said.

After getting the loans, Larkins used some of the money for personal expenses, withdrew cash and transferred $51,000 to an account in Ghana, according to court documents.

PPP loans are part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act and are supposed to be used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. The EIDL program was a small business administration program that provided low-interest financing to small businesses, tenants, and homeowners.

Larkins is scheduled to be sentenced on July 21.

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Jeff Goldman can be reached at [email protected]

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