ALBANY, Ga. – A federal grand jury has returned a 12-count indictment charging a Sycamore, Georgia, resident with bank fraud, money laundering and making false statements related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Anthony C. Boncimino, 46, of Sycamore, was indicted on July 8, 2021 with four counts of bank fraud, four counts of money laundering and four counts of making false statements. If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine for bank fraud, a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for money laundering and a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for making false statements. The defendant was released on bond.
According to the filed indictment, Boncimino allegedly submitted at least four fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and third-party banks for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans on behalf of shell companies, although these companies suffered no losses. The Government alleges that these businesses either did not exist, did not conduct business or only existed on paper. As a result of the fraud, Boncimino obtained approximately $2,600,000 in PPP loans, conducting numerous transactions with the money. This indictment is merely an allegation, and the Defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
“Fraudsters who attempt to capitalize during a global pandemic will face the possibility of federal prosecution for their crimes,” said Peter D. Leary, the Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “Federal investigators will persist in unraveling the often-complex CARES Act fraud schemes and bring criminals to justice.”
“Lying to gain access to economic stimulus funds for personal gain will be met with justice,” SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite. “SBA OIG, in coordination with its law enforcement partners, will relentlessly pursue evidence of fraud against SBA’s programs aimed at assisting the nation’s small businesses struggling with the pandemic challenges. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its leadership and dedication to pursuing justice.”
“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration aggressively pursues those who endeavor to defraud programs afforded to the American people under the CARES Act,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “We appreciate the efforts of the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners in this effort.”
“While businesses were suffering and trying their best to make it through the pandemic, others chose greed. IRS-CI will continue to use its financial expertise to track and recommend prosecution of criminals taking advantage of a crisis,” stated James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge IRS-Criminal Investigation.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Small Business Administration-OIG Eastern Region, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS-Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.