BOSTON (WWLP) – A man from Brockton pleaded guilty in connection with a scheme to submit false applications to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) funds through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

According to the news release sent to 22News by the Department of Justice in Boston, 59-year-old Joao Mendes was charged and has agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud.

The charging documents indicate from around June 2020 until at least around September 2020, Mendes submitted or caused to be submitted multiple fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications on behalf of various entities. The applications misrepresented the number of employees, average monthly payroll expenses, gross revenues, and costs of goods sold for each of Mendes’s various businesses.

Mendes and others received over $1.5 million in PPP and EIDL funds based on the fraudulent applications. Once Mendes received the funds, he either spent them for his own personal benefit, including for the purchase of cryptocurrency or transferred the funds into other accounts he controlled or to other people.  

Mendes faces up to 30 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $500,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.