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Lebanon man sentenced after stealing millions in COVID-19 relief funds

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A Lebanon man has been sentenced to four years in federal prison for stealing millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office's Oregon District.

Andrew Aaron Lloyd, 51, was sentenced on Thursday, Jan. 6. He was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution as well as forfeit 25 properties and more than 15,000 shares of Tesla Inc. stock — worth more than $16 million at its share price on Thursday — seized by law enforcement.

According to the news release, Lloyd took advantage of the economic relief program provided by the Small Business Administration. This included Economic Injury Disaster Loans and the Paycheck Protection Program. These programs were initially authorized in March 2020 to financially assist millions of Americans and small businesses affected by the pandemic.

Court documents show Lloyd started submitting Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act loan applications in April 2020 under a variety of business names and personal identification information of relatives and business associates without their consent.

He also submitted false documentation to justify the loan amounts he requested, the news release states. This included IRS forms listing 2019 wages allegedly paid by entities he controlled.

Lloyd claimed these entities paid employees up to $4.7 million. The loan applications included dozens of alleged employees and the total wages paid to each employee.

According to the news release, the IRS form, total amount of wages and earnings, employee names and wages paid to the employees were all fabricated by Lloyd.

Lloyd submitted nine PPP loans, six of which were accepted and totaled a payout of more than $3.4 million. One of the multiple EIDLs he applied for was accepted, leading to $160,000 in payments.

Using these funds, Lloyd bought real estate and invested in securities. He transferred more than $1.8 million of the PPP loan funds to his securities brokerage account. Lloyd also purchased more than 25 properties in Oregon and California using the funds.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, in January 2021, agents seized Lloyd’s brokerage account. This account included 15,740 shares of Tesla he bought with the funds from the fraud. In March 2021, agents seized an additional account containing more than $660,000 in securities and cash.

The securities and cash seized from Lloyd’s accounts are valued at more than $18 million.

On Jan. 5, 2021, Lloyd was charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. On June 6, 2021, he was charged by superseding criminal information with bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft. Lloyd pleaded guilty to these three charges shortly after.

Russell Anthony Schort, 39, from Myrtle Creek, Oregon was identified as  Lloyd’s accomplice. Schort was also charged for similar crimes.

The FBI, the SBA Office of Inspector General and the IRS Criminal Investigation investigated the case.

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