Skip to main content
Press Release

Albany Man Pleads Guilty to Pandemic Relief Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Scott Solomon, age 37, of Albany, pled guilty today to defrauding a loan program meant for businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Craig L. Tremaroli, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), made the announcement.

Solomon admitted that in 2020, he fraudulently applied for and obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for two restaurants in Saratoga Springs, New York, that he had once operated. Solomon submitted false and forged tax documents as part of each loan application, and lied about each restaurant’s number of employees and payroll.

At the time Solomon applied for the loans, neither restaurant was operational, and Solomon used the loaned funds, totaling $163,993, in ways he knew were prohibited by the PPP. Solomon also fraudulently obtained forgiveness of one of the loans, in the amount of $87,500, by falsely telling the lender that he used most of the loaned funds for payroll.

PPP loans, which were issued by financial institutions in 2020 and 2021 and guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration, needed to be used by the borrowing businesses only on certain, permissible expenses, such as payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. 

Solomon pled guilty to two counts of bank fraud. He faces up to 30 years in prison, and up to 5 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, when he is sentenced on April 30, 2024 by Senior United States District Judge Gary L. Sharpe.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.  Solomon has also agreed to pay $163,993 in restitution and to forfeit that same amount as proceeds of his crimes.

The FBI investigated this case and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett is prosecuting this 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

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:

Updated December 11, 2023

Financial Fraud