Levant Man Pleads Guilty to $300k EIDL and PPP Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice Building is pictured

BANGOR, Maine: A Levant man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Bangor to wire fraud and money laundering charges stemming from his fraudulent receipt of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds, U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee announced.

According to court records, Craig C. Franck, 40, formerly owned CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems. Neither company was in business, generated income, or had employees in 2020 or 2021. In the summer of 2020, Franck received $177,400 in EIDL funds after submitting two fraudulent loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In the applications, he made false representations regarding the companies, misrepresented that the funds would be used to alleviate economic injury caused by the pandemic, and claimed that he was not subject to criminal charges. Franck, who had been arrested on felony fraud charges in Florida in July 2020, illegally used the EIDL funds to retain a criminal defense attorney and post bail in that criminal case. He also used the funds to purchase a pickup truck and pay for other personal expenses.

In March 2021, Franck received a $145,060 PPP loan after submitting a fraudulent loan application to a private lender, providing false IRS documents and checking account statements in support of the application. He spent the PPP funds on a second pickup truck, online retail purchases, living expenses, and other prohibited uses.

Franck faces up to 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigation report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

“My office and our federal law enforcement partners will continue the important work of bringing to justice those who defrauded the economic relief programs made available under the CARES Act,” said U.S. Attorney McElwee. “These funds were meant to keep small businesses running during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will hold accountable those who sought to take advantage of a national emergency simply to line their own pockets.”

 

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