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Colorado man who used PPP funds to buy property, cars pleaded guilty

Edward Baker Harrington obtained more than $1 million through the fraud scheme, the DOJ said.

IDAHO SPRINGS, Colo. — An Idaho Springs man who illegally obtained more than $1 million by submitting a number of fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans, pleaded guilty Thursday to wire fraud and money laundering.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced the plea deal for Edward Baker Harrington, 59.

According to the plea agreement, between April 2020 and September 2021, Harrington submitted a number of fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications to seven banks and one lender on behalf of business entities that he purportedly controlled.

These PPP applications contained a number of false and fraudulent certifications and representations. The defendant obtained more than $1 million in PPP loans as a result of the scheme.

He falsely represented that all PPP funds would be used to pay eligible business expenses, when, in fact, the proceeds were used to purchase goods and property, including real estate and vehicles, the DOJ said.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created PPP, a program administered by the Small Business Administration that provided loans to small businesses to retain workers, maintain payroll, and certain other expenses.

The maximum sentence for a wire fraud conviction is 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The money laundering conviction carries a maximum prison term of 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000.

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