A lot of people line up whenever the government announces a new program to provide help for people in need. Most of those in the line are the people in need whom the government wants to help. However, every once in awhile, there is a bad apple that sneaks in line to take advantage of the program deceptively. That is allegedly the case of what a Detroit man has done. Now the police, FBI, and the Department of Justice are involved.
The allegations claim the man wanted some new cars and looked to scam the government to get them. Apparently, he was a business owner in the past. However, his business closed in 2019. That did not stop him, though, from applying to the government’s Payroll Protection Program.
You may recall that the Payroll Protection Program was started to aid small businesses that are struggling with the COVID-19 global pandemic. Businesses can apply for funds to keep staff on the payroll, and to help with the company’s rent or mortgage, and utilities. But, the program did not take effect until April 3, 2020.
The gentleman that is the target of the allegations applied for the program. Then, the government not only accepted his application, but they also approved him for disbursements totaling $590,900. But, something was not right. So, an investigation was started and found that his business was not functional prior to anything related to the Coronavirus and was therefore not eligible.
Time to buy some cars
It is unknown if the Detroiter knew an investigation was opened into his application falsification or not. But, two days after receiving the funds he had already bought four vehicles, a Dodge Charger, two Cadillac Escalades, and a Hummer. Two of the vehicles he kept for himself. The other two he gave to family members.
The authorities investigate
According to the US Department of Justice, the gentleman by the name of Darrell Baker,
“submitted paperwork with his loan application representing that Motorcity Solar Energy Inc. had 68 employees and, in 2019 paid wages, tips, and other compensation totaling $2.8 million. In fact, the state of Michigan had dissolved Motorcity Solar Energy Inc.’s status as a corporation in July 2019. All of Motorcity’s purported business locations were either empty suites or single-family residences, with no evidence of business activity. And Motorcity never established any account with the State of Michigan’s unemployment insurance program, which is a prerequisite for any valid employer in the state.”
FBI Special Agent In Charge, Steven D’Antuono said,
“These actions harmed hard-working Americans and deserving small businesses. The FBI is committed to investigating anyone who seeks to take advantage of a global pandemic to line their own pockets at the expense of American taxpayers.”
Mr. Baker could be facing wire fraud charges, among other things. The investigation is still ongoing.
Oh, what a tangled web we weave…
The famed poet, Sir Walter Scott, once wrote, “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” It seems that the web of deception woven to get the funds from the government may be what ends up trapping Mr. Baker. If the allegations prove true, he could end up in jail instead of driving some sweet rides.