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COVID Feature: High Roller

COVID Feature: High Roller

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

A Las Vegas, Nevada man has been charged with one count of bank fraud after allegedly applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from seven different banks. Jorge Abramovs is accused of fraudulently trying to obtain funds between April and June of last year.

PPP loans are funded through the CARES Act and distributed through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Qualifying businesses may receive PPP loans to help with business expenses such as rent, mortgages, and overhead costs. These loans are forgivable if a certain amount of the loans are used for job retention and making payroll. (They are not forgivable when you use them to finance your “high roller” lifestyle.)

Abramovs allegedly used several company names and variations of the company’s address when applying for the loans. These aliases include National Investment Group, National Investment Group Corporation, and National Legal Advisors In Care Of. Abramovs claimed to be the president, director, treasurer, and secretary of all of these. (His mother must be so proud of this busy guy.)

One of the applications fraudulently asserted that Abramovs’ company employed 18 people and had a monthly payroll totaling nearly $65,000. Another application claimed it had 49 employees and an average monthly payroll of just over $55,000. (The devil is in the details.)

Abramovs claimed he would use the obtained loan for rent and payroll. He also falsely asserted he wouldn’t be receiving any additional PPP loans. In actuality, he received at least six in the name of one of his companies and at least five in the name of another company. (But who’s counting anyway?)

After learning in August there were no records of unemployment insurance payments made by the company, the government took an interest in the National Investment Group Corporation storefront. Financial analysis shows that Abramovs illegally spent $1,986,737.46 in loan money on purchases of luxury items for himself. (No surprise there.)

These purchases include a 2020 Bentley, a 2020 Tesla, and two condominiums located in Veers Towers in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Sounds like he was just trying to keep up with the Joneses.)

Abramovs has been remanded into custody until his upcoming hearing on COVID-19 fraud. (I’m sure the government didn’t want to take any chances on Ambramovs driving away in one of his illegally obtained luxury vehicles.)

Anyone with information about fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

Today’s Fraud of the Day, “Man charged with fraudulently obtaining $2M in COVID relief aid,” was published by MSN News on January 24, 2021.

A Nevada man charged with fraudulently obtaining nearly $2 million of federal coronavirus relief aid was remanded Friday.

Jorge Abramovs has been charged with one count of bank fraud after allegedly going through at least seven banks to apply for federal Paycheck Protection Program funds, intended for small businesses, between April and June of last year, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday.

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