According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Oregon District, An Oregon man is going to federal prison after he fraudulently received COVID-19 relief funds and used the proceeds to invest in Tesla stock.
Andrew Aaron Lloyd, 51, was sentenced on Thursday, Jan. 6. He was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution as well as forfeit 25 properties and more than 15,000 shares of Tesla Inc. stock — worth more than $16 million at its share price on Thursday — seized by law enforcement.
According to the news release, Lloyd took advantage of the economic relief program provided by the Small Business Administration. This included Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program. These programs were initially authorized in March 2020 to financially assist millions of Americans and small businesses affected by the pandemic.
Lloyd submitted numerous CARES Act loan applications using business names and personal identification information of relatives and business associates without their consent. To receive the loans, Lloyd submitted false IRS forms listing 2019 wages supposedly paid by entities controlled by him.
He even used the same information across different business entities to file numerous loan applications, including the same physical location for numerous businesses and the same names of several dozen employees for different loans.
He also submitted false documentation to justify the loan amounts he requested, the news release states. This included IRS forms listing 2019 wages allegedly paid by entities he controlled.
According to the news release, the IRS form, the total amount of wages and earnings, employee names, and wages paid to the employees were all fabricated by Lloyd.
Lloyd submitted nine PPP loans, six of which were accepted and totaled a payout of more than $3.4 million. One of the multiple EIDLs he applied for was accepted, leading to $160,000 in payments.
Lloyd also purchased more than 25 properties throughout Oregon and California with fraudulent funds. Altogether, authorities seized more than $18 million worth of securities and properties from Lloyd. The fraudulent stake in Tesla was worth more than $16 million as of Thursday.
Lloyd was charged by superseding criminal information with bank fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. He pleaded guilty to all three charges and was sentenced to four years in federal prison with five years of supervised release.
Lloyd was also ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution and forfeit 25 properties and the more than 15,000 shares of Tesla stock seized by law enforcement.