When Teamwork Does Not Make the Dream Work

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Close-up Of A Businessperson's Hand Giving Cheque To Colleague At Workplace

Adam Arena of Buffalo, N.Y., and Amanda Gloria of Altus, Okla., both 44, were arrested for fraudulently obtaining and laundering COVID-19 relief Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds. Arena and Gloria allegedly conspired together to fraudulently obtain and misuse almost $1 million in PPP loans.

Court documents report that the two individuals submitted a false loan application to a U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)-approved lender on behalf of the business Arena previously owned, ADA Auto Group LLC. (There’s just one problem – Arena’s business didn’t exist. Apparently, neither Arena nor Gloria had any common sense either.)

The two allegedly listed false certifications for the business as well as a false explanation of how they planned on using the loan. These false documents included forged tax forms and a list of fake employees. Arena and Gloria successfully received the loan and began to spend the money on personal expenses. (In this case, personal expenses included purchasing two cars.)

Both Arena and Gloria were charged with one count of conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions with criminally derived proceeds, one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and one substantive count of bank fraud. Arena was also charged three substantive counts of engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived proceeds while Gloria was charged with one count.

If convicted, Arena and Gloria may face up to 30 years in prison for each conspiracy and substantive count of bank fraud. On top of that, they may face up to 10 years in prison for each conspiracy and substantive count of engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived proceeds. It’s important to remember that these two are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. (However, if they are found guilty, they’ll be spending a lot of time behind bars in the near future.)

Today’s Fraud of the Day comes from a Department of Justice press release, “Two Charged as Co-Conspirators for Nearly $1 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering,” dated June 11, 2021.

A New York man and an Oklahoma woman were arrested Wednesday in Buffalo, New York and Altus, Oklahoma, respectively, on a criminal complaint filed in the Western District of New York charging them for their roles in fraudulently obtaining and laundering nearly $1 million in funds from the COVID-19 relief Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

According to court documents, from May 2020 through October 2020, Adam D. Arena, 44, of Buffalo, and Amanda J. Gloria, 44, of Altus, allegedly conspired to fraudulently obtain and misuse a nearly $1 million PPP emergency relief loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Arena and Gloria allegedly submitted a false loan application to an SBA‑approved participating lender on behalf of a defunct business owned by Arena called ADA Auto Group LLC. This loan application allegedly contained materially false representations and certifications about Arena’s business and how the loan would be used.  After fraudulently obtaining the loan, Arena and Gloria are alleged to have misused the loan proceeds on personal expenses the purchase of two cars.

 

 

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Larry Benson
Larry Benson is currently the Director of Strategic Alliances for Revenue Discovery and Recovery at LexisNexis Risk Solutions. In this role, Benson is responsible for developing partnerships for the tax and revenue and child support enforcement verticals. He focuses on embedded companies that have a need for third-party analytics to enhance their current offerings.