Maine Man Who Lied to Get Over $1M in PPP Funds Going to Prison
A Maine man who lied on multiple applications for pandemic relief funds is going to prison and ordered to pay over $1 million.
Who Was Sentenced?
Mark X. Haley, 43, of South Thomaston is sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and is ordered to pay $1,010,581 in restitution. Haley pleaded guilty to the charges against him on February 8th, 2023.
How Did the Bank Scheme Work?
According to the United States Attorney's Office, District of Maine, Haley filed fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program applications in order to get loans for employees he didn't have. Court documents state that he listed fake employee and payroll information to the banks, in order to obtain the money, and included a number of other falsified documents, including federal employment tax returns, time sheets, and bank records.
Some of the money he received was used to put a down payment on a sailboat. Court documents say that Haley then claimed the boat was a functioning business with multiple employees in an attempt to steal more funds.
As a result of the 12 fraudulent applications, submitted to three lenders over a twelve-month period, Haley collected a total of $1,010,581. This was just shy of the $1.5 million that he tried to get.
U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee said that the Maine man exploited a worldwide epidemic to line his own pockets.
This was a prolonged and opportunistic scheme motivated by sheer greed that only ended when the program meant to help businesses survive the pandemic itself ended.
McElwee says the Department of Justice will continue to seek out people like Haley who tried to capitalize on an 'unprecedented crisis.'
What Is the PPP?
The Paycheck Protection Program was developed during the COVID-19 pandemic, as a way for small businesses to be able to afford to pay their employees and operating expenses despite pandemic challenges like shutdowns. The loans were forgivable and meant to cover payroll, fixed debts, utilities, rent/mortgage, accounts payable, and other bills.
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