Federal authorities charged five individuals, including an owner of a Florida talent management company, for allegedly participating in a scheme to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program requesting $24 million in falsified loan applications.
The complaints were unsealed Wednesday against Damion O. Mckenzie, Andre M. Clark, Keyaira Bostic, Phillip J. Augustin, Wyleia Nashon Williams. They have been charged with bank fraud, wire fraud, among other offenses.
The funds for the PPP loans are guaranteed for small businesses through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, that Congress passed in March to provide financial assistance during the coronavirus pandemic.
Four other individuals were already charged for the alleged scheme and several have appeared before a judge in the Southern District of Florida this week.
Mr. Augustin is accused of obtaining money for his company Clear Vision Music Group LLC through falsified documents.
The Justice Department alleges he then worked with co-conspirators to submit a number of fraudulent loan applications for kickbacks. He allegedly had a wide network of contacts from his management of professional football players.
Out of the more than $24 million the defendants applied for, $17.4 million had been paid out.
“The defendants allegedly participated in an extensive nationwide scheme to file at least 90 fraudulent applications for millions of dollars in PPP loans in exchange for illegal kickbacks of portions of the loan proceeds,” said Brian C. Rabbitt, the acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
“The department and our law enforcement partners will continue to aggressively pursue those who would seek to illegally exploit the ongoing national emergency for their own benefit,” he added.
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