PORTLAND, Maine: Merton Weed Jr., 50, of Norway, Maine, was arrested today on an indictment charging him with filing fraudulent claims for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and a fraudulent application for a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured mortgage.
According to the indictment, between May 2020 and January 2021, Weed filed five applications for PPP loans requesting over $150,000. The applications are alleged to have listed false average monthly payrolls and numbers of employees and to have been supported by false payroll records and bank records. The indictment also alleges that Weed filed a residential loan application for an FHA-insured mortgage in 2018, listing false employment and income information on the application.
If convicted, Weed faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The FBI is investigating the case.
An indictment is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The PPP was a COVID-19 pandemic relief program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) that provided forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses. The PPP permitted participating third-party lenders to approve and disburse SBA-backed PPP loans to cover payroll, fixed debts, utilities, rent/mortgage, accounts payable and other bills incurred by qualifying businesses during, and resulting from, the COVID-19 pandemic. PPP loans were fully guaranteed by the SBA.