Texas man arrested for allegedly defrauding SBA out of millions
AUSTIN, Texas – Federal authorities arrested a man in Austin after he allegedly defrauded the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) over $ 2 million, according to the Department of Justice.
Federal authorities have arrested Micheal George McQuarn, 51, on charges of wire fraud and misrepresenting the SBA, an unsealed criminal complaint said Thursday morning.
Earlier this year, Congress authorized more than $ 600 billion in emergency funds to help millions of Americans suffering economic hardship from the COVID-19 outbreak. A portion of these funds included forgivable loans to small businesses for job maintenance and certain other expenses under the Paycheque Protection Program (P3).
The complaint alleges that McQuarn implemented a program in April whereby he submitted fraudulent claims and supporting documents for two “shell companies” he had set up to obtain SBA-backed PPP funds. McQuarn then claimed the funds were for legitimate business needs, but instead used the money for his own personal use, including buying a 2026 Pavati Wake Boat and a Rolls Royce.
“The defendant was blatantly seeking personal gain from a program designed to help hard-working Americans during this difficult time,” said Donald Abram, special agent for the central region of the SBA OIG. “The SBA OIG and its law enforcement partners will aggressively pursue allegations of wrongdoing in order to maintain the integrity of SBA programs. I want to thank the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice. “
The complaint further alleges that McQuarn fraudulently received a surplus of $ 2 million in P3 funds.
If convicted, McQuarn can face jail terms of up to 20 years for wire fraud and up to five years for making false statements to the SBA.
“We are pleased to join our law enforcement partners in the prosecution of these individuals using the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to defraud the country’s financial institutions and government relief programs,” said declared the FDIC-OIG special agent in charge, Laurie Younger.
SBA OIG, IRS-CI, FDIC-OIG, TIGTA and the Texas Attorney General’s Office are conducting this ongoing investigation. US assistant lawyers Matthew Devlin, Michael Galdo and Robert Almonte are pursuing this case on behalf of the government.
“The Paycheque Protection Program was designed to help Americans struggling financially during the pandemic. Our office will be aggressive in targeting anyone defrauding this critical program, ”said US attorney John F. Bash.
The prosecutor’s office also notes that anyone who believes they or their family has been the victim of a scam or attempted fraud involving stimulus payments related to COVID-19 should report it to the Center for Hotline. Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721.