A Massachusetts man was criminally charged Tuesday with grossly inflating the number of employees at his pizza parlor to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 relief funds which he used to buy alpacas.
Dana McIntyre, 57, of Beverly is charged with wire fraud and money laundering. He is scheduled to appear in a Boston federal court Tuesday afternoon.
If convicted, Mr. McIntyre faces up to 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Mr. McIntyre obtained more than $661,000 in Payroll Protection Program loan funds last year by claiming he had 47 employees and a monthly payroll of $265,000 at his small pizza shop.
But Mr. McIntyre never had more than 10 employees on his payroll, according to court documents.
He is also accused of setting up fictitious companies in his children’s names to obtain COVID-19 relief loans.
After securing the loans, Mr. McIntyre sold the pizza restaurant and used the money to buy a farm in Vermont and purchase “several” alpacas, prosecutors said.
The farm advertises events such as “The Alpaca Experience,” the “Family Alpaca Picnic” and “Wine Cheese and Alpaca,” according to its website. It also sells alpaca products.
Prosecutors also alleged that Mr. McIntyre used his PPP funds to purchase a classic 1950 Hudson car and a GMC Sierra truck and paid $6,500 to buy airtime on a local radio station to host a program where he talked about cryptocurrency.
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