Novi man charged in federal wire fraud scheme

A man from Novi was arrested and charged in a wire fraud scheme involving $ 3.1 million in Paycheque Protection Program (PPP) loans.

According to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan, Antonio George, 44, is charged in connection with a criminal complaint over one count of wire fraud.

The complaint alleged that George “was the link in securing approximately $ 3.1 million in PPP loans through applications from insured financial institutions and others, on behalf of 19 different companies,” reads -on in a press release from the US attorney’s office.

George allegedly provided false documents on the operations and salary expenses of certain companies. One of the companies has reportedly not been in business since 2015.

The PPP loan is guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Aid, relief and economic security against the coronavirus (CARES Act).

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“Michigan small businesses have received Paycheck Protection Program loans, and those loans have kept those businesses alive,” US Attorney Matthew Schneider said in the statement. “Every dollar stolen from the program is a dollar stolen from troubled businesses in need. So for the crooks, if you think law enforcement isn’t paying attention to the damage you’re doing to Michigan business owners, you are completely wrong and we will sue you.

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