July 20, 2024

Coventry man pleads guilty to fraudulent $100K PPP loan, feds say

BRIDGEPORT — A Coventry man has pleaded guilty to fraudulently taking out $100,000 in loans meant for struggling businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, officials said, and could face up to 40 years in prison.

John Matava, 59, pleaded guilty Tuesday before U.S. District Judge Kari Dooley in Bridgeport to offenses related to his receipt of COVID-19 relief funds, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut’s office said in a news release.

The U.S. attorney’s office noted that, in March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act provided emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It said one source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the Paycheck Protection Program.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Congress approved more than $300 billion in additional PPP loan funding in April 2020, adding that the loans would allowed qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive unsecured loans at an interest rate of one percent. It said the proceeds of those loans were to be used by businesses for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities, and the loan was forgivable if the business spent the funding within a certain amount of time and used at least a certain percentage of it on staffing. 

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