Miss. man stole $6M in PPP loans; purchased $1M home, Tesla, DOJ says
STARKVILLE, Miss. (WLBT) - FBI Special Agents arrested a Starkville man Thursday for an alleged fraud scheme exceeding $6 million in federal COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Christopher Paul Lick, 45, of Starkville worked up a scheme to get PPP funds by filing false loan applications with banks, including Customers Bank and Cross River Bank, the U.S. Department of Justice says.
Agents say Lick lied about the number of employees and payroll expenses of his businesses.
Rather than use the PPP funds for his businesses, investigators say Lick purchased a variety of luxury items for personal use, including a home valued at more than $1 million and a Tesla valued at nearly $100,000. Lick also used the PPP funds to invest in the stock market, DOJ says.
He’s charged with four counts of wire fraud, one count of false statements to a financial institution, and eleven counts of money laundering.
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison.
To report fraud involving COVID-19 loans, call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or file a complaint form here.
Copyright 2021 WLBT. All rights reserved.