Virginia Beach Businessman Sentenced for COVID-Relief Fraud Scheme
NORFOLK, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to two years in prison for bank fraud by submitting a fraudulent application for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, and then using the loan proceeds for his own personal benefit.
“The defendant used fraud and deception to exploit a critical COVID-19 relief program for his own personal gain,” said Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program wastes taxpayer dollars and keeps vital assistance from reaching those who are in genuine need of these funds. EDVA will continue bringing to justice those who seek to illegally profit from the pandemic.”
According to court documents, in June 2020, Scott Suber, 39, submitted to Celtic Bank a fraudulent application for a loan under the PPP, a program designed to help businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic continue to pay salary or wages to their employees. In the application, it was falsely represented that Suber’s business, Debris or Not Debris Property Preservation, Inc., had eight employees and an average monthly payroll of $140,000. In support of the fraudulent application, Suber submitted a false quarterly tax return claiming that the business had quarterly wages of $420,000 and federal tax withholdings of $36,620. In addition, Suber submitted a bank statement with an altered date in support of the application.
Celtic Bank approved and funded a PPP loan for the business in the amount of $350,000 and transferred the funds to an account Suber maintained in the name of his company. The loan application stated that Suber’s company would use the loan proceeds for business-related purposes, such as the costs of payroll, lease, and utilities. Instead, Suber used the proceeds for his own personal benefit, including making large cash withdrawals, traveling to Las Vegas, and making non-business-related payments to several individuals.
Raj Parekh, Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Darrell J. Waldon, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Special Agent in Charge of the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General, Eastern Region; and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Robert G. Doumar.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Salsbury prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 2:20-cr-110.