News

Lusby Restaurant Owner Sentenced to Prison in Scheme to Fraudulently Obtain SBA Business Loan


Defendant Conspired with Contractor to Submit Fraudulent Documents

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 17, 2011

Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Moreno Straccialini, age 49, of Lusby, Maryland, today to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy and making false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Judge Messitte also ordered Straccialini to pay restitution of $150,000. A federal jury convicted Straccialini on October 25, 2010.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Aaron Collins of the Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General.

According to evidence presented during four days of testimony, Straccialini created a business in 2006 to open a new restaurant, known as Chamnari Authentic Korean BBQ, in Lusby. Witnesses testified that in March 2007, Straccialini entered into an agreement with a contractor to perform construction services for Chamnari BBQ for total cost of $145,000.

The evidence showed that in June 2007, Straccialini applied for an SBA loan for $417,000, representing that $295,000 was to be paid to the construction contractor. In the summer of 2007, Straccialini told the owner of the construction company that he had applied for an SBA business loan and asked her to falsely represent that their contract was for $295,000. Straccialini then conspired with the contractor to create a false contract and other documentation representing that the construction cost was $295,000. The fraudulent backdated contract and other documents were given to the SBA to secure approval of the loan.

According to evidence presented at trial, the construction company transferred a total of $97,000 directly to Straccialini after it received the inflated proceeds of the SBA loan.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Office of the Inspector General for the Small Business Administration for their work in the investigation. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan C. Su prosecuted the case.

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