Houston Man Faces Federal Charges After Forging PPP Loan Documents
HOUSTON, TX – A Houston man is facing federal charges stemming from a scheme to receive more than $1.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans fraudulently.
On Tuesday the DOJ made the release stating the man then attempted to use the money he received to buy cryptocurrency.
According to the Department of Justice, 29-year-old Joshua Thomas Argires, faces charges of making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
The complaint, revealed Monday, states Argires submitted two fraudulent PPP loan applications to federally-insured banks under the business names of 'Texas Barbecue' and 'Houston Landscaping'.
Reports indicate that neither company had any previous listed employees or payroll wages consistent in the application.
Prosecutors state Argires provided falsified documents showing the companies had “numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses.”
As stated in the complaint, both of the loans were funded, but rather than used for payroll expenses authorized by the PPP, Argires instead invested a portion of the money into cryptocurrency while keeping a portion in a personal bank account and making ATM withdrawals to access it.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General, Small Business Association OIG, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Houston division conducted the investigation which lead to the arrest and prosecution of Argires.
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