An Japanese Kentucky man lied on functions for $370,000 in funding from a federal program set as much as assist companies damage by the coronavirus pandemic, a federal grand jury has charged.
The grand jury indicted David Christopher Lewis, of Harlan County, in early August however the case was sealed till just lately.
Lewis faces one cost of wire fraud, for allegedly submitting paperwork that contained false details about his companies, and two prices of tampering with paperwork or proceedings.
Lewis has an organization known as Bubba Fest LLC, which organized occasions billed as “Southern Fried” Comedian Cons, and one other firm known as Elite Artists Company LLC.
Lewis allegedly utilized for loans for each corporations final 12 months by way of the Paycheck Safety Program. Congress authorized that program to assist companies hold staff on the payroll because the coronavirus pandemic sapped the economic system.
Loans by way of this system have been forgivable if companies stored staff on for a sure period of time.
Lewis put false details about the payroll on the two corporations in functions for a $195,000 mortgage to Bubba Fest and a $175,000 mortgage to Elite Artists Company, the indictment charged.
Lewis obtained checks payable to each corporations, the indictment mentioned.
After federal authorities began investigating, Lewis allegedly tried to impede the investigation by asking an individual to signal a backdated employment contract saying he labored for Bubba Fest in 2019 and made $1,200 every week.
The particular person, recognized solely by the initials C.Ok. within the indictment, didn’t work for the corporate in 2019, in keeping with the indictment.
The indictment additionally alleged that in response to grand jury subpoenas for employment data from his corporations, Lewis despatched again a sworn assertion saying he’d employed a tax preparer in Harlan to fill out the mortgage functions; that the particular person assured him the functions have been correct; and that the preparer had Lewis’ data and wouldn’t give them again.
The assertion was false, the grand jury charged.
Every of the three prices has a most sentence of 20 years in jail.
The indictment was sealed whereas Lewis was not in custody in Kentucky. Police arrested him Oct. 14 in North Myrtle Seaside, S.C., in keeping with data there.
A federal Justice of the Peace decide in South Carolina ordered him held with out bond to face the fees in Kentucky, saying there was a major danger Lewis would flee if launched.
U.S. Justice of the Peace Decide Kaymani West mentioned within the order that the proof confirmed Lewis knew there was a warrant out for him in Kentucky and that he deliberately left the state and didn’t plan to return of his personal accord.
Lots of of individuals lined as much as meet motion star Chuck Norris on the 2019 Bubba Fest in Knoxville, Tenn. Picture offered by Chris Lewis
Lewis faces one other declare in federal courtroom in Kentucky that he didn’t pay action star Chuck Norris all he was alleged to for Norris’ participation within the 2019 Bubba Fest occasion in Knoxville, Tenn.
In July 2020, an arbitrator in Texas ordered Lewis to pay $31,050 below the looks contract; attorneys’ charges of $130,489; and $11,630 in arbitration prices.
Attorneys for the manufacturing firm filed a request in federal courtroom in London to implement the award earlier this 12 months.
Lewis mentioned in an interview final April that Norris’ declare had no benefit, however has not formally responded to the request to implement the judgment. The case is pending.
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