The court has convicted Elijah Majak Buoi, 40, a businessman from Winchester, for fraud involving federal coronavirus pandemic relief loans. He committed four counts of wire fraud and submitted a false statement to the IRS. The total amount he was trying to gain through fraud is $13 million.
Buoi Tried to Exploit the Government CARES Program
Small business statistics show that more than a third of small businesses in the US closed due to COVID-19. As a result, the government has established the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security program to help businesses cope with the pandemic. Through it, small businesses and organizations can get forgivable loans to cover expenses like salaries, rents, mortgages, etc.
Buoi Lied About the Number of Employees and Payroll Expenses
According to the prosecutors, the Massachusetts businessman falsified reports about workers and payroll expenses. Apparently, he tried to take advantage of his CEO and owner role in the Sosuda Tech startup. In addition, Buoi also submitted a deceptive IRS tax form to support his false claim.
As a result, the police arrested him in June 2020. According to the authorities, he had already obtained a $2 million loan. However, the U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins said that the authorities have recovered most of the funds.
Buoi Claims the Bank Loan Officers Are to Blame
Bryan Owens, Buoi’s legal representative, stated that his client was misinformed by a bank loan officer. As a result, he made a mistake while completing the tax and loan forms. According to him, his client had no intention of committing a crime. Furthermore, he added that Buoi is a family man who had to overcome many obstacles in his life.