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Press Release

Idaho Springs Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

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

DENVER - The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Edward Baker Harrington, age 59, of Idaho Springs, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for wire fraud and money laundering.  Harrington was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,078,033.50.

According to the plea agreement, from April 2020 through September 2021, the defendant submitted a number of fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications to seven banks and one lender on behalf of business entities that he purportedly controlled. These PPP applications contained a number of false and fraudulent certifications and representations. The defendant obtained more than $1,000,000 in PPP loans as a result of the scheme. He falsely represented that all PPP funds would be used to pay eligible business expenses, when, in fact, the proceeds were used for his personal benefit to purchase goods and property, including real estate and vehicles. The defendant submitted PPP loan forgiveness applications in which he made more false representations and certifications regarding his businesses and his compliance with the PPP program rules, including rules related to the eligible uses of PPP loan proceeds.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted in March 2020 and was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans dealing with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act created PPP, a program administered by the Small Business Administration that provided loans to small businesses to retain workers, maintain payroll, and certain other expenses consistent with PPP rules.

“The defendant enriched himself with taxpayer funds meant to help workers and businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.  "Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners at the IRS, he will face the consequences of his fraud.”

“Harrington used the Paycheck Protection Program as his personal ATM. He brazenly stole over one million dollars with no regard for the hard-working American business owners and families this program was intended to support,” said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation Denver Field Office. “IRS-CI has investigated over 1000 instances of Covid-19 relief fraud since the CARES Act was introduced, and this sentence should send a clear message that we will continue to hold those accountable who abused the system for their personal benefit.”

This case is being investigated by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Cassidy and Martha Paluch. 

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice 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, among other methods, 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

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:

Case Number: 22-cr-00324

Updated July 14, 2023

Disaster Fraud