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Press Release

Levant Man Sentenced to 33 Months for Fraudulently Receiving $322,460 in Pandemic Relief Funds

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

BANGOR, Maine: A Levant man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Bangor for wire fraud and money laundering arising from his fraudulent receipt of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds.

U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker sentenced Craig C. Franck, 40, to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Franck pleaded guilty on August 16, 2022.

According to court records, Franck formerly owned CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems. Neither company was in business, generated income or had employees in 2020 or 2021. Franck received Maine unemployment insurance benefits over the same time frame. In July 2020, Franck was arrested on felony fraud charges in Florida. 

In the summer of 2020, Franck received $177,400 in EIDL funds after submitting two fraudulent loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration. In the applications, Franck made numerous false representations regarding CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems, misrepresented that the funds would be used to alleviate economic injury caused by the pandemic, and claimed that he was not subject to criminal charges. Franck illegally used the EIDL funds to retain a criminal defense attorney and post bail in his Florida criminal case. He also used the funds to purchase a pickup truck and pay for other personal expenses.

In March 2021, Franck received a $145,060 PPP loan after submitting a fraudulent loan application to a private lender. In support of the application, Franck provided false IRS documents and forged checking account statements. Franck illegally spent the PPP funds on a second vehicle, online retail purchases and living expenses, among other prohibited uses.

In imposing sentence, Judge Walker observed that Franck engaged in a cynical scheme amounting to “high tech pocket picking” and had displayed “an extraordinary amount of narcissism” in carrying out the pandemic fraud.

Homeland Security Investigations investigated the case.

Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act: The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020. It was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who suffered economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act made EIDL funding available to business owners negatively affected by the COVID19 pandemic. EIDL proceeds were funded by the SBA and disbursed by the U.S. Treasury. EIDLs could only be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the COVID19 disaster not occurred.

Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP): Another source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding, and another $284 billion in December 2020. Businesses were required to use PPP loan proceeds for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities. The PPP allowed the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spent the proceeds on these expenses within a set period and used at least a certain percentage of the funds for payroll expenses.

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Andrew Lizotte
Assistant United States Attorney
Tel: (207) 945-0373

Updated January 25, 2023

Disaster Fraud
Financial Fraud