SALEM, Ore. — An Oregon man has pleaded guilty to pocketing millions of dollars meant to help small businesses during COVID-19.
Andrew Lloyd, 51, pleaded guilty to bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft.
According to court documents, federal agents began investigating Lloyd in October 2020 after they received information that he may have fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) at multiple financial institutions. Lloyd began applying for multiple loans in April 2020 using different business names and personally identifiable information of relatives and business associates without their consent.
“CARES Act relief programs were designed to help American small businesses weather a historically difficult time in our nation’s economic history. Andrew Lloyd saw an opportunity to profit off the COVID-19 pandemic and did so at the expense of hardworking Americans. Our office will continue to investigate and prosecute anyone who seeks to unfairly enrich themselves from public funds set aside to help those in need,” said Scott Erik Asphaug, acting U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon.
He also submitted fake documents to justify the loan amounts requested. Each time he listed that he had between 56 and 64 employees and the total wages paid to each. Some of the loan applications would have the same information, like the same physical address or the same name of some employees, across different fake businesses.
Lloyd applied for nine PPP loans in total and six were accepted. He was paid more than $3.4 million and an additional $160,000 in EIDL payments. With that money, he bought real estate and other personal things. He also used it to buy stocks.
“While Americans suffered with the economic collapse that COVID-19 brought to our communities, Lloyd decided to cash in on the catastrophe. As hard-working, honest people were forced onto unemployment and into food lines, Lloyd was pouring millions of stolen dollars into brokerage accounts and real estate deals. Thanks to our investigative partnerships, he will now face years in prison,” said Kieran L. Ramsey, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon.
In January 2021, federal agents seized Lloyd’s brokerage account where he had bought more than 15,000 shares of Tesla, Inc. He had money in other accounts federal agents also seized.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office recommends 61 months in federal prison. He will be sentenced on Sept. 9.
As part of his plea agreement, Lloyd has agreed to pay more than $3.6 million in restitution to the U.S. Treasury. He also agreed to forfeit more than $11 million in cash and securities and 23 properties that were purchased with PPP funds.
Another man, Russell Schort, 39, was also charged for similar conduct. He will please guilty on July 1.
“Lying to gain access to economic stimulus funds will be met with justice,” said Weston King, SBA Office of Inspector General Western Region Special Agent in Charge. “SBA OIG will aggressively pursue evidence of fraud against SBA’s programs aimed at assisting the nation’s small businesses struggling with pandemic challenges. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.”
This case was investigated by the FBI with assistance from the SBA Office of Inspector General and IRS Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Gavin W. Bruce, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.