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Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

If you have something you want to talk about or share with the world, YouTube is the place to get seen. You’ve got so much to gain, and really, not much to lose. Except if you want to share tips on how to steal from the U.S. government. Then you have a lot to lose. And you are going to jail. Which is where Paul Kwak is going. He is going to jail for stealing over $2 million from COVID-19 pandemic funds. And he shared how to do it on YouTube.

When the government stepped in to help the millions of Americans suffering economically during the pandemic, Kwak saw an opportunity.  Kwak submitted millions of dollars of fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications in the names of shell companies that had no employees and conducted no business activities.

Before the pandemic, Kwak regularly posted videos on his YouTube channel, where he provided financial and investment advice. Not one to keep a lucrative tip from his viewers, Kwak shared his scheme on YouTube. In a May 2020 video titled “EIDL, disaster assistance you don’t have to pay back,” Kwak explained that applicants could receive tens of thousands of dollars in assistance without collateral or a co-signor, using only the applicant’s electronic signature. He wasn’t wrong on how to file for aid. He wasn’t wrong about how easy it was. But Kwak was wrong in not having to pay it back.

On October 17, 2023, Kwak was found guilty and sentenced to three years in prison. Kwak will also be forfeiting three homes and a Mercedes GLS 580 purchased with fraud proceeds and over $1.6 million from multiple bank accounts associated with the fraud. Stay tuned for what happens to any of Kwak’s viewers who took his advice!

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on article “Financial Advisor Jailed And Fined For Covid-Relief Fraud” published by Financial Advisor on October 18, 2023

A financial advisor in Georgia has been sent to prison and fined for illegally obtaining millions of dollars in Covid-19 relief funds.

Paul Kwak, 65, a financial advisor in Braselton, Ga., was sentenced to prison for three years and four months, followed by three years of “supervised release,” last week by a federal court in the northern district of Georgia for illegally obtaining millions of federal dollars during the Covid-19 pandemic.

He will also forfeit more than $1.6 million from bank accounts associated with the fraud, pay an additional $1,198,300 in restitution, and give up three homes and a Mercedes he purchased with proceeds from the scheme.

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