NJ Woman Admits $1M Paycheck Protection Program Loan Fraud Scheme
A woman from New Jersey has admitted fraudulently obtaining over $1 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
51-year-old Nivah Garcis of North Plainfield, Somerset County, pleaded guilty in Trenton federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering, according to U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger's office.
Garcis conspired with at least one individual to submit two fraudulent PPP loan applications to a lender on behalf of two purported businesses that she controlled, and further submitted three fraudulent EIDL loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) on behalf of these businesses and another business that she owned. She then engaged in financial transactions with the loan proceeds, including for the purchase of property.
- The applications Garcis submitted each contained fraudulent representations to the lender, a Federal Home Loan Bank member, and the SBA, including bogus federal tax documents purportedly from the IRS.
- Garcis also fabricated the existence of employees and wages paid through the purported businesses. According to IRS records, however, none of the purported tax documents that Garcis submitted in support of her loan applications were ever in fact filed with the IRS.
Based on Garcis’ misrepresentations, her loan applications for her purported businesses were approved for approximately $1.05 million in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds meant for distressed small businesses.
Sellinger says Garcis used the money to purchase property and for various personal expenses.
Potential jail time
The count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The counts of wire fraud each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years behind bars and a $250,000 fine. It could be up to a decade in prison on the count of money laundering with another $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 31st.