Former North Shore Resident Charged With COVID-Relief Fraud
Former pizzeria owner filed fraudulent applications for various relief funds and used proceeds from a Paycheck Protection Program loan to purchase alpaca farm
BOSTON – A former North Shore resident was indicted yesterday in connection with allegedly filing fraudulent applications for loans and unemployment benefits to obtain over $660,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds and using those funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of an alpaca farm in Vermont.
Dana L. McIntyre, 57, of Grafton, V.T. and previously of Beverly and Essex, Mass., was indicted on four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. On May 4, 2021, McIntyre was arrested and charged by criminal complaint.
McIntyre is the former owner of Rasta Pasta Pizzeria in Beverly. According to the indictment, in March 2020, McIntyre allegedly used the names of his adult children to submit two fraudulent applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for fictitious businesses. Beginning in April 2020, McIntyre allegedly submitted an application and weekly certifications in order to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. On these filings, McIntyre falsely claimed that he was not working or receiving income as a result of the pandemic, while McIntyre in fact was still operating the restaurant and paying himself income from the business. In August 2020 when McIntyre sold the restaurant , he had allegedly received over $17,000 in PUA and related benefits that he was not entitled to receive.
It is further alleged that, in April 2020, McIntyre submitted a fraudulent application for a PPP loan of over $660,000 through a Small Business Administration approved lender. In the application, McIntyre allegedly inflated information about the pizzeria’s employees and payroll expenses and falsified an official tax form in an effort to qualify the business for a larger loan amount. After receiving a PPP loan of over $660,000, McIntyre allegedly sold the pizzeria and used nearly all the funds to purchase an alpaca farm in Vermont and other personal expenses.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme, whichever is greater. The charge of money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000, or twice the value of the criminally derived property. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting United States Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Ramsey E. Covington, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys David M. Holcomb of Mendell’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit and Carol Head of Mendell’s Asset Recovery Unit are prosecuting the case.
Information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can be reported by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline by phone (1-866-720-5721) or via an online reporting form available at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.