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Covid fraudster who bought California property and nearly 16,000 shares of Tesla stock with PPP loans is caught

Andrew Aaron Lloyd was a savvy investor, however a awful fraudster.

The businessman from Lebanon, Oregon, made thousands and thousands shopping for almost 16,000 shares of Tesla Inc., however misplaced all of it — alongside together with his freedom — when the feds discovered he had bankrolled his investments with proceeds from fraudulently obtained Covid-relief loans.

A whole lot of individuals have been prosecuted for falsely acquiring taxpayer-backed funds from plans supposed to assist small companies throughout the pandemic, such because the Paycheck Safety Program. Lots of them spent the cash, and prosecutors have been in a position to recuperate solely a fraction of it. However that wasn’t the case with Lloyd, the place the federal government received again much more than he scammed.

Lloyd, 51, received about $3.4 million by submitting pretend purposes within the names of companies owned by family and associates, all with out their information, based on courtroom information. He used a few of the proceeds to purchase greater than 25 items of actual property in Oregon and California, prosecutors mentioned.

However his greatest windfall got here together with his 2020 buy of 15,740 shares of Tesla utilizing authorities cash and a mortgage from Charles Schawb secured by equities he’d bought with the stolen money.

‘Elevated Exponentially’

Tesla’s inventory has skyrocketed since then, handing traders returns of about 50% final 12 months alone. Lloyd’s funding was price greater than $11 million on the time brokers seized his shares in January final 12 months, and $16.8 million on the shut of buying and selling Thursday.

“Lloyd transferred over $1.8 million of the PPP funds to his E*TRADE Securities brokerage account and bought securities,” prosecutors mentioned in a courtroom submitting. “Fortuitously for the federal government, and for Mr. Lloyd’s restitution obligation mentioned beneath, the worth of these securities elevated exponentially.”

Federal brokers additionally seized one other of Lloyd’s safety accounts, containing $660,000 in securities and money.
Lloyd, who pleaded responsible in June to financial institution fraud, cash laundering, and aggravated id theft, was sentenced Thursday to 4 years in jail, based on the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Oregon. He was additionally ordered to pay $4 million in fines, give up actual property purchased with the ill-gotten cash, and forfeit his brokerage accounts valued at $18 million.

His lawyer didn’t return a request for remark.

The case is U.S. v. Lloyd, 6:21-cr-00198, U.S. District Courtroom, District of Oregon (Eugene).

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