NEWARK, NJ – Six residents of Essex County, New Jersey, were arrested today for conspiring to fraudulently obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, U.S. Attorney Philip announced. R. Sellinger.
Nyan Terry, aka “Racks,” 23, of Irvington; Samir Jefferson, aka “Tank Jeffe,” 23, of Newark; and Nasir Williams, aka “Harlem Pete”, 29, Hymeen Reynolds, aka “Meen”, 21, Brian Brown, aka “Bizz”, 40, and Cadece Lapread, 35, all of East Orange, are each accused by complaint of a bank fraud account. Terry, Reynolds, Brown, Lapread and Jefferson are also each charged with one count of bank fraud conspiracy. The defendants made their first appearances today before US Magistrate Judge Jessica S. Allen.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) is a federal law enacted in March 2020 and was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. . One of the sources of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of hundreds of billions of dollars in small business forgivable loans for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP.
To obtain a PPP loan, an eligible small business had to submit an application and provide information about its operations, including the number of employees and expenses. In addition, companies generally had to provide supporting documents.
In April and May 2021, Terry, Jefferson, Williams, Reynolds, Brown and Lapread conspired to defraud PPP lenders by submitting fraudulent PPP loan applications on behalf of non-existent small businesses, along with false tax forms. Based on the defendants’ false statements, the lenders approved at least three fraudulent PPP loans and disbursed more than $62,000 in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds.
The bank fraud and bank fraud conspiracy counts each carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited FBI Special Agents, under Special Agent in Charge Jesse Levine in Newark; Department of Homeland Security Special Agents, Homeland Security Investigations, under Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina in Newark; and IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agents, under Acting Special Agent in Charge Tammy Tomlins, the investigation leading to the charges. He also thanked the Bloomfield Police Department, Essex County Sheriff’s Office, Essex County District Attorney’s Office and Newark Department of Public Safety for their assistance in the investigation.
The government is represented by Special Assistant US Attorney Timothy Shaughnessy and Assistant US Attorney Sarah A. Sulkowski of the US Attorney’s Organized Crime/Gang Unit in Newark.
The charges and allegations contained in the complaint are charges only, and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.