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HomeMorris CountyParamus Man Admits Fraudulently Obtaining Cares Act Loan and Laundering the Proceeds...

Paramus Man Admits Fraudulently Obtaining Cares Act Loan and Laundering the Proceeds of his Fraud

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NEW JERSEY — A Paramus man admitted that he fraudulently obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and laundered the loan proceeds, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.

George Leguen, 51, pleaded guilty on June 12, before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

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

From August 2020 through January 2021, Leguen participated in a scheme to defraud to fraudulently receive COVID-19 emergency relief funds for distressed small businesses under the EIDL program. Leguen applied to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for a company he owned and controlled. He submitted fraudulent information supporting that application, including the number of employees, annual gross revenue figures, and fraudulent federal tax returns. Leguen received $149,900. After receiving the fraudulent funds, he diverted the proceeds for his gain.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain to the defendant or gross loss to the victim, whichever is most significant. The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the value of the monetary instrument or funds involved in the laundering offense, whichever is greater. Sentencing is scheduled for December 19, 2024.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents and task force officers of IRS – Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jenifer L. Piovesan in Newark: the Drug Enforcement Administration, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cheryl Ortiz of the New Jersey Field Division; special agents of the U.S. Secret Service, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron Hatley, Newark Field Office; and special agents of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan Mellone, Northeast Region, with the investigation leading to the guilty plea.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger

The District of New Jersey COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Strike Force is one of five strike forces established throughout the United States by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute COVID-19 fraud. The strike forces focus on large-scale, multi-state pandemic relief fraud perpetrated by criminal organizations and transnational actors. They are interagency law enforcement efforts, using prosecutor-led and data analyst-driven teams designed to identify and bring those who stole pandemic relief funds to justice.

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 Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form by clicking here.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Fatime Meka Cano and Aja Espinosa of the Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Click here to download the document information indictment.

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Frank Cahill
Frank Cahillhttps://www.frankcahill.com
Publisher of Parsippany Focus since 1989 and Morris Focus since January 1, 2019, both covering a wide range of events. Mr. Cahill serves as the Executive Board Member of the Parsippany Area Chamber of Commerce, President Kiwanis Club of Tri-Town, and Chairman of the Parsippany-Troy Hills Economic Development Advisory Board. Owner of the Morris now app serving small business in Morris County.
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