Hollywood exec pocketed more than $1.7M in coronavirus PPP funds, authorities say

Hollywood exec pocketed greater than $1.7M in coronavirus PPP funds, authorities say


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A former Hollywood studio govt has been charged with pocketing greater than $1.7 million in coronavirus aid funds and utilizing the cash to repay his bank card debt and different private bills, federal prosecutors stated Friday.

William Sadleir, 66, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the previous chairman and chief govt officer of Aviron Pictures, faces federal costs of wire fraud, financial institution fraud, making false statements to a monetary establishment, and making false statements to the Small Business Administration, the Justice Department stated.

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The grievance, filed Thursday within the Central District of California, alleges Sadleir filed forgivable financial institution mortgage functions in search of greater than $1.7 million underneath the Paycheck Protection Program. The federal program was applied to assist small companies keep afloat amid the COVID-19 disaster that has shattered the worldwide financial system.

“This film producer allegedly made a series of misrepresentations to a bank and the Small Business Administration to illegally secure taxpayer money that he then used to fund his nearly empty personal bank account,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna of the Central District of California stated in an announcement.

Federal prosecutors alleged Sadleir submitted three functions to JP Morgan Chase for loans underneath the PPP on behalf of Aviron entities. The functions have been filed underneath the guise that the funds could be used to assist payroll and different business-related bills, prosecutors stated.

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Instead, Sadleir transferred among the cash to his private checking account and used it to repay $80,000 in private bank card debt, a $40,000 automotive mortgage and different bills, the grievance stated.

“This defendant allegedly used Paycheck Protection Program loans to pay off his personal credit card debts and other personal expenses, rather than using the funds for legitimate business needs,” stated Brian Benczkowski, assistant lawyer common of the DOJ’s Criminal Division.

The funds are a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which was accepted in March to help Americans and small companies struggling monetary hardship amid the pandemic. The $349 billion allotted was exhausted in lower than two weeks after the SBA accepted 1.7 million loans.

In April, an extra $300 billion in PPP funding was accepted by Congress.

“These funds were designed to be a lifeline to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the current crisis,” FBI Assistant Director in Charge Paul Delacourt stated in an announcement.

“These funds were designed to be a lifeline to businesses struggling to stay afloat during the current crisis.”

— Paul Delacourt, FBI 

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Sadleir left Aviron Pictures in January following a lawsuit alleging impropriety within the firm construction. Federal prosecutors stated they have been instructed that he had no position in Aviron Pictures — a subsidiary –or associated entities, based on Deadline.

A separate prison grievance towards he alleged he defrauded traders of $14 million to pay for his Beverly Hills residence.

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