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Press Release

Chalmette Man Pleads Guilty to Cares Act Fraud

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

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA -- U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that JULIO A. GONZALEZ, JR. of Chalmette, LA, has plead guilty on July 26, 2023 to one-count of making false statements related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) pursuant to Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

On March 27, 2020, The CARES Act established several new temporary programs and provided for the expansion of others to address the COVID-19 pandemic.  Among these programs, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized forgivable loans backed by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to small businesses to retain workers and maintain payroll, make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments.

GONZALEZ made false statements to an approved lender for the purpose of fraudulently obtaining a PPP loan, which he later received in the amount of approximately $20,832.00. GONZALEZ stated in his PPP application that he was an independent contractor impacted by the pandemic when, in truth, he had no such business in 2020. GONZALEZ faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and up to three years of supervised release for the false statements.  There is also a $100 mandatory special assessment fee due after conviction.  Sentencing is scheduled for November 8, 2023.

For more information on the Department of Justice’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

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney M. Irene González of the General Crimes Unit is in charge of the prosecution.


Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated August 2, 2023

Financial Fraud