Denver – United States Attorney Cole Finegan announced that Defendant Patricia Gilroy, 58, of Naples, Florida, was sentenced to 19 months in prison for a wire fraud scheme in which she received $865,351 as a result of fraudulent EIDL and PPP applications that she submitted. Gilroy was also ordered to pay $916,656.03 in restitution.
On March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which provided emergency assistance, administered by the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), to small business owners affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The two primary sources of funding for small businesses were the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program.
From April 2020 through April 2021, defendant Patricia Gilroy submitted fraudulent EIDL and PPP applications to the SBA and participating lenders on behalf of 10 inactive, shell companies that she controlled seeking loans from the EIDL and PPP programs. In these applications, Gilroy made false statements about the number of employees and the amount of gross revenues and cost of goods sold that the companies had in the 12 months prior to January 31, 2020. In the applications, Gilroy also falsely agreed to use the funds solely as working capital for the companies when, in fact, she intended to use the funds for other purposes, including making personal investments. Three of the PPP applications, three applications for second PPP draws, and 2 EIDL applications were approved and funded. As a result, companies controlled by Gilroy received $856,351 in PPP and EIDL proceeds.
U.S. District Court Judge Daniel D. Domenico handed down the sentence on August 2, 2022.
“This defendant tried to take advantage of a program designed to provide relief to small businesses and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her sentence should send a clear message to anyone thinking of exploiting this national emergency for their personal gain. We are proud to work with our law enforcement partners to safeguard taxpayer funds,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.
“This sentencing demonstrates the commitment of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to investigate and bring to justice those that victimize the American taxpayer,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Abusing a Federal program designed to assist Americans in need by fraudulently applying for loans has and will continue to be aggressively investigated. I want to thank our law enforcement partners and the United States Attorney’s office for their commitment to this goal.”
“Falsifying information to access funds set aside by the SBA to support small business works against the building up of our nation’s economy,” said SBA OIG’s Western Region Special Agent in Charge Weston King. “Our Office will remain relentless in the pursuit of fraudsters who seek to defraud the SBA’s vital economic programs. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and commitment to seeing justice served.”
The investigation in this case was conducted by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and the Small Business Administration-Office of Inspector General in connection with their work on the Colorado-based EIDL Fraud Task Force. The prosecution was handled by Pegeen Rhyne and Sarah Weiss, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Colorado, Denver.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Related court documents can be found on PACER by searching for Case Number 21-cr-175.
CASE NUMBER: 22-cr-00063-DDD