Carnegie Man Sentenced to 6½ Years for $3.8 Million Paycheck Protection Program Fraud
PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh resident has been sentenced in federal court to 78 months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, plus restitution of $3,885,082 on his conviction for bank fraud and money laundering, Acting United States Attorney Troy Rivetti announced today.
United States District Judge W. Scott Hardy imposed the sentence on Randy Frasinelli, 66, of Carnegie, PA 15106.
According to information presented to the court, Frasinelli filed six fraudulent applications for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, falsely asserting that he had businesses with dozens of employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in monthly payroll. After receiving more than $3.8 million as a result of those loans, Frasinelli spent the money on luxury items including vehicles, a villa in Mexico, an African safari, firearms, works of art, precious metals, watches, and personal investments. Then, prior to sentencing, Frasinelli submitted at least 13 forged character letters, purportedly from prominent individuals in politics, finance, business, technology, and charitable organizations, in an attempt to receive a more lenient sentence.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Hardy stated that Frasinelli had committed a very serious crime involving funds that were intended to help small businesses maintain payroll during the pandemic. Judge Hardy also emphasized that Frasinelli’s submission of the forged character letters had eroded the Court’s trust in him at sentencing. Frasinelli was taken into the custody of the United States Marshals at the conclusion of the hearing.
“The scope and magnitude of this defendant’s ongoing fraud and deception is enormous. He lied in an effort to obtain pandemic relief funds while already facing charges of illegally taking federal money meant for businesses on the verge of collapse,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Rivetti. “Mr. Frasinelli viewed the Payroll Protection Program as an opportunity to enrich himself at the expense of taxpayers. His continuing deceit—right up to the time of sentencing when he targeted the Court by submitting fraudulent character letters in support of his request for leniency—demonstrates a complete lack of respect for the law. A sentence of six and a half years appropriately holds him accountable and is just punishment for his $3.8 million scheme.”
“Mr. Frasinelli spent millions of dollars he stole from the Paycheck Protection Program to take lavish trips and buy expensive gifts he felt he was entitled to,” said FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall. “He then tried to undermine the justice system by submitting false character letters attesting to his generosity. The sentence handed down today demonstrates that those who defraud government programs will be held accountable for their actions.”
“Randy Frasinelli’s greed caused him to repeatedly abuse the Payroll Protection Program, and today he is paying the price for doing so,” said Yury Kruty, Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation. “While Mr. Frasinelli’s actions were a crime against the government, they also negatively impacted people and businesses who legitimately needed the money but couldn’t get it because the program had been drained. IRS-CI and our law enforcement partners remain committed to bringing fraudsters like Mr. Frasinelli to justice.”
Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey R. Bengel prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
Acting United States Attorney Rivetti commended the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Frasinelli.