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Press Release

Norway Man Sentenced to 2 Years for PPP Loan Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine
Merton Weed, Jr. exploited COVID-19 pandemic to fraudulently obtain over $243K

PORTLAND, Maine: A Norway man was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in Portland for filing fraudulent applications for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

U.S. District Judge Nancy Torresen sentenced Merton Weed Jr., 52, to 24 months imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $253,646. Weed pleaded guilty on October 23, 2023.

According to court records, between May 2020 and January 2021, Weed filed eight fraudulent PPP loan applications with four different lenders and received $243,745 in PPP funds. The applications listed false average monthly payrolls and numbers of employees for phony businesses that did not exist. Weed supported the applications with falsified bank records.

The FBI investigated the case.

“Motivated by greed, Merton Weed took advantage of a program intended to help small businesses survive economic uncertainty during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Darcie N. McElwee. “Mr. Weed has a lengthy history of enriching himself through fraud, so it is perhaps not surprising that he made not one but eight attempts to take advantage of a time of international turmoil. The Department of Justice and my office will continue to bring to justice those who, like Mr. Weed, sought to capitalize on an unprecedented crisis to line their own pockets.”

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)

Updated May 31, 2024

Financial Fraud