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Two Buffalo men have been charged with scamming the Paycheck Protection Program. Larry Jordan and Sutukh El were indicted by a grand jury, according to WKBW. They have been charged with wire and bank fraud conspiracy, bank fraud, and engaging in transactions with criminally derived property.

The men, who are brothers, filed fraudulent PPP loan applications requesting almost $7 million. U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy said,

“These brothers allegedly stole more than $600,000 which was intended to assist businesses and employees that have been crippled by the pandemic. Their greed in the face of a national crisis has rightly landed them in federal court under indictment. We will investigate and charge anyone who seeks to use emergency federal aid as a way to try to get rich quick.”

The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to help struggling businesses, which were affected by COVID-19. The program was implemented under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Up to $349 billion was allocated to forgivable loans. Businesses were supposed to use the funds to help retain jobs and keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic.

The indictment revealed a text conversation the brothers had about their scheme,

After receiving confirmation that a loan application had been approved, defendant Sutukh El sent texts to Jordan stating: "We really bout to take over the world,” and “Wow, we like Fake Rich.” Jordan replied: “We don’t even have to start paying back for 2 years,” and “Or just show what they ask us to show.” Another text from Sutukh El stated: “We’ll be in the billions by then anyway,” and “But definitely show what needs to be shown and write that (expletive) off!”

The brothers face a maximum of 30 years behind bars and a $1,000,000 fine. They have been released on conditions.

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