Brooklyn man faces up to 20 years in prison after being accused of fraudulently obtaining $ 1.9 million in forgivable loans under the Paycheck Protection Program, using part of the funds to purchase the most recent Bentley and Escalade vehicle, according to federal authorities.
Leon Miles is accused of applying for the loan program, in which funds for struggling small businesses during the pandemic are wiped out if they are used to keep workers in employment. Miles allegedly used a limited liability company under his name – 114 Macon LLC, a nod to his home address in Crown Heights – to claim $ 1.9 million in P3s in May, and submitted false IRS documents to back up his false claims.
Prosecutors said Miles submitted false IRS documents showing he paid workers a total of $ 9 million while claiming to have employed 50 employees as part of the LLC, paying monthly wages totaling 761. $ 838. It was all wrong, prosecutors say.
“Among the aforementioned IRS forms that defendant Leon Miles submitted in support of his PPP loan application, this was an authentic copy of a form submitted to the IRS,” according to the complaint. relied on the sworn testimony of FBI Special Agent Zachary Effting. “In fact, Miles did not report any taxable income to the IRS for 2019, and 114 Macon LLC did not file any tax returns for 2019 and did not report any wages paid to any employees in 2019.”
While building their case, prosecutors also discovered that Miles had spent the PPP loan on items not authorized under the program, including $ 250,000 on a 2020 Bentley Continental and more than $ 100,000 on a 2020 Cadillac Escalade that he he would have bought over the summer. Miles had posted a photo of himself next to a 2020 Bentley on Instagram with an overlaid text, “Old School, New Rules, Keep Your Head Up !!”
Miles has since been charged with wire fraud, carrying a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.
“This type of criminal behavior is a slap in the face for anyone playing by the rules, especially since so many people in our communities are suffering the financial fallout from the pandemic,” FBI Deputy Director William F. Sweeney said. stated in a press release.
Miles appeared before a federal judge on Monday. A lawyer representing Miles declined to comment.
The case comes on top of a growing number of cases where New Yorkers have been accused of fraudulently obtaining P3 loan money. In August, authorities accused a self-proclaimed “serial entrepreneur” of carrying out a scheme in which he obtained more than $ 7 million in PPP loans after claiming to have businesses in Manhattan employing more than 200 workers.