New Jersey defrauded Paycheck Protection Program out of $1.6 million, feds

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EDISON, NJ – An Edison man has admitted to scamming the U.S. Government out of $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds, according to the U.S. Department of Justice,

The DOJ said Jordan C. Larkins, 32, of Edison, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Qurashi by videoconference to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of money laundering.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From May 2020 through July 2020, Larkins submitted three fraudulent PPP loan applications to three different lenders and 11 EIDL applications to SBA on behalf of numerous purported businesses. 

“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” The DOJ said in a statement. “One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.”

“On his 14 fraudulent PPP and EIDL applications, Larkins made false representations to the participating lenders and the SBA, including fake federal tax return documentation for his purported businesses and fake bank statements. He also fabricated the identities of certain individuals listed as applicants and the corresponding driver’s licenses of those purported applicants,” the federal government charged. “Based on Larkins’ misrepresentations, he obtained approximately $1.6 million in PPP and EIDL funds. Larkins then misused the funds by making a series of cash withdrawals, transferring funds to foreign banks, and for various other personal expenses.”

Larkins could face up to 50 years in prison for his crimes.