Brewer Woman Sentenced to 2 ½ Years for Wire Fraud, Making False Statements to a Lending Business & Making Straw Purchase
PORTLAND, Maine: A Norway man pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Portland to filing fraudulent applications for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
According to court records, between May 2020 and January 2021, Merton Weed Jr., 51, filed eight fraudulent PPP loan applications with different lenders and received over $240,000 in PPP funds. The applications listed false average monthly payrolls and numbers of employees and were supported by false payroll records and bank records.
Weed faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. He will be sentenced after the completion of a presentence investigative report by the U.S. Probation Office. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The FBI investigated the case.
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.
Sean M. Green, Assistant United States Attorney (207-780-3257)