Skip to main content
Press Release

U.S. to collect over $350,000 in damages after judgement ordered in False Claims Act case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Alaska

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – The U.S. will collect over $350,000 in treble damages and penalties after a default judgement was ordered in the False Claims Act case of the former co-owner of Arm Rippin Toys, who made false statements on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application.

Michael Hanzuk II, 31, of Anchorage, co-owned Arm Rippin Toys Inc. According to court documents, Hanzuk admitted in a related criminal case that beginning in July 2019 he and the two other co-owners and employees ran a “tuning and deleting” scheme of their customers’ diesel vehicles. This scheme involved removing control systems designed to reduce pollutants being emitted from vehicles, which is illegal under the Clean Air Act. Hanzuk was charged and convicted of conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act in August 2022.

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Congress authorized emergency funding for federal agencies to provide financial assistance to the public in the form of loans. In 2020, Hanzuk applied for an EIDL loan of over $100,000 and falsely certified that he and Arm Rippin Toys were not engaged in “any illegal activity,” despite their active conspiracy to violate the Clean Air Act.

The False Claims Act (FCA) creates a civil cause of action for the recovery of damages and penalties from those who submit false or fraudulent claims to the United States. The U.S. affirmatively sought and was granted treble damages, as well as penalties against Hanzuk in the civil matter for his false claims, which were three times the amount of the EIDL funds he received.

“My office will continue to prosecute Covid-19 related fraud and bring justice to those who abuse these programs,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “The False Claims Act allows treble damages and penalties, which acts as a valuable tool to deter and to hold accountable those who seek to misuse public funds and scam American taxpayers.”

“Those who violate the False Claim Act by wrongfully receiving SBA pandemic program funds will be held accountable,” said SBA OIG’s Western Region Special Agent in Charge Weston King. “This settlement demonstrates that wrongfully obtaining taxpayer dollars will not go unnoticed, and violators will be identified. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners for their support and dedication to pursuing justice in this case.”

The Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Jackie Traini litigated the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Justice Department in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit



Reagan Zimmerman

Public Affairs Officer

Updated February 19, 2024

Press Release Number: 24-15