New York accounting firm owner charged with PPP fraud

The Justice Department charged a Connecticut man on Aug. 9 with fraudulently obtaining and misappropriating funds from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan he received for his accounting business in 2021 .

According to an indictment filed in the District of Idaho, Eric O’Neil, 57, of Bethel, CT, is accused of lying about employee numbers, monthly payroll and other information. about his business in applying for a loan from a financial institution in Boise last year, CT Insider reported. In the loan, O’Neil requested $373,201 for his company Accountant R Us Inc.

He was charged on Tuesday with one count of bank fraud.

The money was granted to O’Neil by the Small Business Administration under the CARES (Coronavirus Relief, Aid, and Economic Security) Act, intended for small businesses dealing with the economic impact of COVID-19, said the Ministry of Justice.

CT Insider reported that O’Neil has owned and operated Accountant R Us in New York since 2013. On March 25, 2021, O’Neil, along with others, submitted a PPP loan application:

However, “Accountant R Us had no employees, paid no salaries and paid no social charges,” according to his indictment.

To further the scheme, O’Neil and others submitted bogus tax forms to the financial institution containing false information about the company’s total income, wages and salaries during the year of operation. 2019 taxation. The forms were never filed with the Internal Revenue Service, according to the indictment.

He also submitted a false payroll journal that lists 22 employees, including O’Neil, and fraudulent profit and loss statements, according to the indictment.

“Accountant R Us did not appear to have any legitimate business operations or employees in 2019 and 2020,” the indictment states.

If convicted of the bank fraud charge, O’Neil faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

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