Former North Shore Resident Pleads Guilty to COVID-Relief Fraud
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Pizzeria owner filed fraudulent applications for pandemic relief and used proceeds to purchase alpaca farm
BOSTON – A former North Shore resident pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court to charges that he filed fraudulent applications for more than $660,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds and used those funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of an alpaca farm in Vermont.
Dana L. McIntyre, 59, of Grafton, Vt. and previously of Beverly and Essex, Mass., pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. U.S. District Court Judge Denise J. Casper scheduled sentencing for July 12, 2023. McIntyre was arrested and charged by criminal complaint and later indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2021.
McIntyre is the former owner of Rasta Pasta Pizzeria in Beverly. In March 2020, McIntyre used the names of his adult children to submit two fraudulent applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for fictitious businesses. Beginning in April 2020, McIntyre submitted an application and weekly certifications in order to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. In 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. By September 2020, when McIntyre sold the restaurant, he had received over $17,000 in PUA and related benefits that he was not entitled to receive.
In April 2020, McIntyre submitted a fraudulent application for a PPP loan of over $660,000 through an SBA-approved lender. In the application, McIntyre 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 sold the pizzeria and used nearly all the funds to purchase and improve an alpaca farm in Vermont and on other personal expenses, including two vehicles and air time for his crypto-currency themed radio show.
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 statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Joleen D. Simpson, 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 and Mackenzie A. Queenin of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit are prosecuting the case.
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 https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus
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: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Updated April 14, 2023