Feds: Man Defrauded Pandemic Programs Out of Over $300,000 | Health and fitness

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to defrauding federal pandemic relief programs of more than $300,000, which investigators say was spent on trucks, equipment exercise, a big screen TV and laptops.

Craig Franck, 40, of Levant, also used some of the relief money to post bail and hire a defense attorney after he was charged with criminal fraud in Florida, prosecutors said.

He pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison when convicted.

US attorney Darcie McElwee has vowed to go after those who “take advantage of a national emergency just to line their pockets”.

Franck previously owned CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems, but neither company was in operation or had employees in 2020 and 2021 when he applied for federal assistance during the pandemic, prosecutors said.

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Frank received $177,400 from the Economic Disaster Loan Program through the Small Business Administration and $145,060 from a private lender through the Paycheck Protection Program, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Judge Lance Walker issued a forfeiture order for approximately $320,000 on Tuesday. Franck’s attorney did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

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