Former Keene Man Pleads Guilty to Fraudulently Obtaining CARES Act Funds
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Hampshire:
CONCORD - Andre McBreairty, 45, previously of Keene, pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to obtain CARES Act funds, United States Attorney John J. Farley announced today.
In response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Congress passed several measures designed to help small businesses, including the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act created, among other things, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Under that program, businesses could obtain low-interest loans to meet payroll during the first few months of the pandemic. If the money was spent on payroll and other approved purposes such as utilities and rent, the Small Business Administration (SBA) would forgive the loans in full. Congress later passed the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, which authorized a second tranche of PPP loans.
The SBA also opened up its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program to businesses. Under the program, businesses could obtain loans for working capital and normal operating expenses. EIDL applicants were also eligible for advances of up to $15,000, provided certain conditions were met. These advances generally do not need to be repaid.
McBreairty, who now resides in Pennsylvania, is scheduled to be sentenced on April 14, 2022.
“Although Congress passed the CARES Act to provide financial assistance during the pandemic, some greedy individuals have used fraud to obtain funds they are not entitled to receive,” said U.S. Attorney Farley. “By submitting false documents and false information to obtain CARES Act funds, this defendant stole from the American taxpayers. Thanks to the hard work of federal law enforcement agents, he is now being held responsible for his unlawful conduct. As this case demonstrates, we are working closely with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute those who defraud federal assistance programs.”
“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration aggressively pursues those who endeavor to defraud programs afforded to the American people under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). “We appreciate the efforts of the U.S. Department Justice and our law enforcement partners in this effort.”
This matter was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and Social Security Administration’s Office for the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander S. Chen and Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter.