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Three men charged in scheme to get $14 million in COVID-19 relief loans

Three men charged in scheme to get $14 million in COVID-19 relief loans
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Three men from Texas and Oregon were charged in an apparent scheme to get $14 million from COVID-19 relief loans.

According to a Thursday press release sent out by the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York, the three men — Apocalypse Bella, Mackenzy Toussaint, and Amos Mundendi — were charged for trying to obtain government guaranteed loans designed to provide relief to small businesses during the pandemic. 

The three men were involved in the scheme to submit fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and to at least one company which processes loan applications under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program in order to get the sum amount. 

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“As alleged in the indictment, the defendants in this case are charged with fraudulently securing loans intended to help honest small businesses and their employees deal with the pandemic’s economic effects,” FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said in the statement. "Our actions should serve as a reminder of our steadfast commitment to bringing justice to those who would seek to illegally leverage government programs for selfishly personal gains.  These defendants now face a personal reckoning - the result of which may be an extended stay in federal prison for each of them.”

Bella, 36, was arrested last month in Virginia. Toussaint, 39, and Mundendi, 32, are expected to be presented before a magistrate judge in Texas on Friday. 

All three men are facing one count of conspiracy,  one count of major fraud against the United States, and one count of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy.