GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Three Kent County men are being indicted in connection to Payment Protection Program fraud.
A court document alleges the three men, along with two other Georgia men, provided false information to obtain $1.495 million in loans that are meant to provide relief to small businesses. The men were also accused of conspiring to illegally wire money.
Business partners of In a Minute Entertainment, LLC., David Kurbanov of Wyoming and Jemar Ahton Mason of Grand Rapids, applied and received money for a business that did not have any employees or customers. Kurbanov also applied for the loans for a second inactive business, Kurbanov Communications, LLC.
Neither or the business had open bank accounts, court documents say.
Andre Jackson of Georgia introduced Kurbanov and Mason to James Williams, who created false documents to be used in applying for PPP loans.
Members of the group discussed and distributed money from the loans to friends and family, labeling them as “payroll” so it would appear the funds were used properly.
Dennis Lynn Cartwright Jr. of Grand Rapids also advised Kurbanov and Mason on how to disguise their spending to make it look legitimate including recording it as payroll. Money was also sent to Cartwright, which violated terms of the loan.
Money was also wired oversees for a period of time to yield profits.
Investigators were able to recover around $1.123 million of loan funds. Millions of dollars’ worth of property was seized from the suspects.
Mason and Kurbaov were both charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Both charges are punishable by up to 20 years and a fine of $250,000.
Mason, Kubanov and Cartwright were all charged with conspiracy to commit concealment money laundering. That is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $500,000.
Cartwright was charged with one count of engaging a monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity, and Mason was charged with two counts of the same charge. Kurbanov was charged with three counts of engaging in, or attempting to engage in, a monetary transaction in property derived from specified unlawful activity. Each of those charges are punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.