The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has indicted a Texas man with securing a double relief loan of $1.1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of COVID-19. Conversely, Joshua Thomas Argires, as per the DoJ, has invested a portion of the funds in digital assets.
The acting Assistant Attorney General, Brian C. Rabbitt, claimed that the accused had been detained on the accounts for deceitfully securing over $1.1 million in PPP loans. The 29-year-old allegedly applied for two fake loans, one on behalf of an entity dubbed Texas Barbecue, and the other on behalf of a company named Houston Landscaping.
The accused claimed that the two entities had a lot of staff working and a high salary outlay. According to the complaint, neither of the two entities has staff, nor does it pay salaries in the amount specified by the applicant.
Argires channeled COVID-19 relief loan to Coinbase
The court filing states that on May 17, the accused had opened a Coinbase account under the name of Texas Barbecue, without any physical address. He is registered as the account’s single owner. On May 19, he began to transfer $956,250 of the COVID-19 relief loan into the Coinbase account.
The court document asserts some of the funds had to be used to invest in digital currency and yielded some profits. The document also states that none of the funds had been transferred from the Coinbase account.
Small businesses qualify for PPP loans
The pandemic relief fund, or the CAREs Act was signed into law back on March 29, to offer contingency to Americans negatively affected by the pandemic crisis. Furthermore, the Small Business Administration provides PPP loans under this act; making small entities eligible for loans with a 1 percent interest.