You’d probably expect a company with a name like Global Network Corporation to have a sizable staff. Or at least a staff, but Kansas “entrepreneur,” Clifford Townsend, allegedly applied for a real Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for a seemingly imaginary business. PPP loans are intended to help businesses affected by the pandemic retain their workers and pay for legitimate business expenses. (They’re not meant to provide another source of income for shysters.)
While Townsend claimed the company had 15 employees on the PPP application, Federal prosecutors said that his business had no employees, and accordingly charged him with defrauding a Wichita bank out of $127,100 in COVID-19 aid. He allegedly used $27,000 of the loan to buy a BMW (Nice company cart!), and wired $80,000 to a brokerage account in the name of the business.
Townsend was charged on April 28 with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making a false statement to a federally insured bank, and two counts of money laundering. Each bank fraud and false statement charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. The money laundering charges could bring up to 20 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 (Well, luckily the whole company can fit in one prison cell.)
Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a U.S. News and World Report article, “Man Charged with $127 Fraud Involving COVID-19 Aid,” dated May 19, 2021.
TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Manhattan man has been charged with defrauding a Wichita bank out of $127,100 in COVID-19 aid meant for small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Clifford Townsend is accused of claiming on an application for Paycheck Protection Program money that his business had 15 employees. The business, Global Network Corp., had no employees, federal prosecutors said.