Rocklin Business Owner Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Banks While Awaiting Sentencing on Other Fraud and Money Laundering Charges
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Kevin Lee Co, 51, of Rocklin, pleaded guilty today to submitting false statements to a financial institution, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
According to court documents, on Dec. 8, 2016, Co pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering for embezzling approximately $4.8 million from his former employer, Holt of California. Co used the money he embezzled to purchase, among other things, luxury cars, home furniture, and NFL football and NBA basketball season tickets. While out of custody and awaiting sentencing on those charges, Co defrauded federally insured financial institutions by submitting false statements to qualify for loans that were part of the Paycheck Protection Program.
Co was the sole owner of Apollo HP Inc., a Rocklin-based company that sells generators, windows, and residential solar panels. Between April 2020 and January 2021, Co applied for and obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans for his company. The loan applications required him to disclose his pending criminal charges and guilty pleas. However, in his loan applications, Co concealed the fact that he had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges in order to cause two banks to approve loans for his company. As a result of Co’s false statements, financial institutions suffered a total loss of $530,552.
This case was the product of an investigation by the IRS Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Reserve Board and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau – Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian A. Fogerty is prosecuting the case.
Co is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley on Aug. 18, 2022. On the false statements charge, Co faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Because the offense was committed while on release pending sentencing, the court may impose an additional consecutive sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Co also faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the wire fraud charge. For the money laundering charge, Co faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000, or twice the value of the property involved in the money laundering transactions. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.