COVID 19 Scam Alert: Corrupt New Jersey EDA Seeking $100,000 Donations from Private Individuals

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4 mins read

Just this week, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal warned New Jersey residents of potential COVID-19 scams and we may have found the first big coronavirus money scam.

The New Jersey EDA, you know that part of Phil Murphy’s administration that is being investigated for operating a multi-billion dollar public tax fraud scheme is now asking you and me…well, maybe you, to open up your checkbook and fork over a $100,000 donation.

Here’s what happened not even a year ago with the EDA, reported by The Philly Inquirer.

  • FBI agents have interviewed potential witnesses over the last month, sources said. Among their areas of interest has been the development boom in Camden, which has been fueled by $1.6 billion in tax breaks that the state’s Economic Development Authority awarded to companies there since 2013, according to one person briefed on the matter. Each of the sources spoke on condition of anonymity.

 

Here’s the EDA’s plea for donations:

TRENTON, N.J. (April 13, 2020) – The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) today announced it will be accepting donations from individuals and companies to support the Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program, which provides grants to New Jersey small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Individuals and companies interested in making a donation should contact donation@njeda.com.

“Small businesses are the heartbeat of New Jersey’s economy. Ensuring they have the resources they need to withstand the COVID-19 outbreak is critical to keeping our economy afloat and setting the stage for a strong recovery,” said NJEDA Chief Executive Officer Tim Sullivan. “Due to the unprecedented scale of this outbreak, demand for emergency support is greatly outpacing what the NJEDA can provide alone. We encourage companies and individuals that have the means to help to step in so we can expand this program to serve the many businesses that need help.”

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Applications for the NJEDA’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program launched on April 3rd, 2020. Within an hour the program was oversubscribed; within a week the NJEDA received more than 30,000 applications. To address the massive need for support, the NJEDA has created a process for corporate and philanthropic partners to make donations to expand the Program. A description of the Program can be found at https://faq.business.nj.gov/en/articles/3835237-how-do-i-apply-to-the-njeda-small-business-emergency-assistance-grant-application-now-open-here.

For the NJEDA to effectively administer the Program, gifts to support the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program must be at least $100,000. The gifts must be unrestricted and without conditions. To avoid conflicts of interest, donors must have no existing contracts with the NJEDA and may not enter into a contract with the Authority for at least six months following the donation. This includes tax incentive agreements, financial assistance, bond contracts, leases, and other contracts.

Individuals and companies interested in donating to support the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program should contact donation@njeda.com. NJEDA will provide a form letter that the Donor must complete and sign. Comprehensive information about New Jersey’s response to the novel coronavirus outbreak is available here: https://covid19.nj.gov/.

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