Many were concerned when the federal government handed out billions of dollars to help provide COVID relief. Checks went to individuals, but billions went to various businesses who applied. How would they keep the quickly created system from being abused?
And now we are starting to learn just what some people did with these sudden windfalls. Not everyone was keeping their businesses afloat.
One California man fraudulently applied for loans, and he received about $9 million dollars. He then blew it all… and a lot of it was in Vegas:
A California man was arrested and ordered held without bond on Thursday for fraudulently obtaining some $9 million in coronavirus relief funds and using some of the money to gamble in Las Vegas.
Andrew Marnell, 40, a resident of the Beverly Grove neighborhood of Los Angeles, allegedly submitted a number of fraudulent loan applications in relation to the coronavirus pandemic and obtained millions in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
According to the report, forty-year-old Andrew Marnell submitted numerous fraudulent loan applications through the government’s newly-established PPP. The money was meant to keep small businesses alive, through the state-mandated shutdowns.
Marnell, who appears to not be associated with any business, allegedly used some of the funds to make “risky stock market bets.” Prosecutors also say he squandered hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino and other Vegas establishments. He was doing this as recently as last weekend.
Critics of the government relief efforts worried about how individuals and companies would use the money. We already learned of large institutions of applying for funds that apparently didn’t need. Big fast-food chains as well as other corporations got millions from the PPP, even though the program was supposed to help small businesses.
Although sitting on a $4 billion endowment, Harvard University also received millions in funding.
This latest news will only inspire more criticism of the government’s pandemic response. States shut down schools and businesses, only to see spikes in positive tests anyway. The government forced companies to close, leading to millions of layoffs—only to give money to crooks like Marnell.
It appears the “cure” may have been worse than the disease itself.
- A California man allegedly defrauded the PPP of $9 million.
- Andrew Marnell spent the money on risky stocks and weekends at Vegas.
- The story might spark more criticism of the government’s response to the pandemic.
Source: Yahoo News