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Maryland Man Charged For Stealing Over $3.5M In PPP Funds

GREENBELT, Md. (WJZ) -- A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging a 45-yeard-old Bowie man with federal wire fraud and money laundering charges.

The nine-count indictment charges Rudolph Brooks with three counts of wire fraud relating to Brooks' transmission of loan applications submitted through the Paycheck Protection Program ("PPP") in the names of three entities controlled by Brooks.

The indictment shows that Brooks submitted PPP loan applications in the name of Cars Direct, Madaro, and Kingdom Tabernacle containing false statements about the number of employees and payroll expenses.

He also submitted false tax forms, not on file with the IRS.

In total, Brooks obtained at least $3,560,855 in PPP loan proceeds.  He used the PPP loan proceeds for his personal benefit and on payments and purchases not permissible under the Paycheck Protection Program. This includes payments for a residence, the purchase of a luxury vehicle, purchases at restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores, cash withdrawals and transfers to other bank accounts controlled by Brooks.

The indictment also charges Brooks with three counts of money laundering for wire transfers from the criminal proceeds of the PPP loans. These were used for the purchase of a 2018 Tesla Model 3, a real property in Baltimore, Maryland, and a real property in Upper Marlboro, Maryland.

In total, the United States has recovered more than $1.6 million in proceeds of the fraudulent PPP loans as well as a 2018 Tesla Model 3 purchased with proceeds of the Cars Direct PPP loan.  If convicted, the United States will seek forfeiture of the seized property as well as the Upper Marlboro, Maryland property purchased with fraud proceeds.

Brooks faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering followed by three years of supervised release if convicted.  Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

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