Busted Scheme in Broken Arrow

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A businessman from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The loan program is designed to help legitimate small business owners keep their doors open and help employees keep their jobs.

Rafael Maturino apparently had other ideas for using a PPP loan when he applied for a loan for Maturino Enterprises, a company he claimed to own and operate. On his application, he certified that the company had five employees and a monthly payroll of nearly $40K, and that he would use the loan funds to maintain payroll and pay other qualified business expenses.

There were just a few small problems with that application: He misrepresented the number of people employed, the amount of taxes paid, and the payroll expenditures. (Right—because no one would notice the discrepancy between what he reported to the federal government for the loan, versus what he reported to federal government for payroll withholding?) 

Maturino’s scheme was uncovered thanks to investigation by the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors, Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Office of Inspector General, Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, and the FBI. (It takes a mighty big federal village to catch a crook – too bad he doesn’t have to reimburse the American taxpayers for everything they spent to stop him.)

Under his plea for bank fraud, Maturino agreed to a sentence of one year and one day in prison, and repayment of $97,800 to the First Bank of Owasso. His final sentencing determination will be made at a June 1, 2021 hearing. (Let’s hope the one-time wrestling coach can’t wiggle out of this one.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Oklahoma, “Broken Arrow Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Applying for Paycheck Protection Program Forgivable Loan,” dated March 2, 2021.

A Broken Arrow man pleaded guilty today for fraudulently applying for a Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.

Rafael Maturino, 40, of Broken Arrow, pleaded guilty to bank fraud after executing a scheme to defraud First Bank of Owasso when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan under false pretenses on April 28, 2020. As part of the plea, the United States and Maturino agreed to a sentence of 12 months and one day of imprisonment and restitution in the amount of $97,800 to be paid to First Bank of Owasso. U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan will make the final sentencing determination at a hearing set for June 1, 2021.

Additional information is available from a Tulsa World article, “U.S. attorney charges man with COVID loan fraud,” dated December 17, 2020, and updated January 24, 2021.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.