A Washington D.C. pastor faces 20 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining $1.5 million from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Rudolph Brooks Jr. of Maryland deposited the funds into multiple bank accounts. The feds say he used part of the loan to purchase 39 vehicles including a 2018 Tesla Model 3.
The affidavit states warrants were issued to seize $2.2 million from Brooks’ bank accounts.
Brooks, who is pastor at Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration church in D.C., is owner of Cars Direct, a buy here, pay here auto lot.
According to the affidavit, Brooks allegedly submitted false tax returns with his application for a PPP loan on behalf of Cars Direct in the amount of $1,556,589.
The Cars Direct loan was approved on May 9, 2020 and funds were deposited into an account associated with Brooks.
Under the terms of the federal CARES Act, PPP funds must be deposited into a separate bank account created specifically for the funds so the IRS can keep track of expenditures.
Brooks, 45, is accused of making multiple cash transfers from the account into his personal bank accounts.
The affidavit states he used the money for “personal expenditures” including credit card bills, restaurant purchases, retail shopping, groceries, mortgage payments, and automotive auctioneers.
Additionally, the feds say Brooks used the funds to purchase 39 used luxury cars for his used car lot.
Brooks allegedly purchased a 2017 Mercedes Benz S Class, two 2017 Infinity Q50s, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a 2005 Bentley Continental, a 2018 Tesla Model 3, a 2014 GMC Yukon XL, among other luxury cars.
Thousands of people have been arrested for fraudulently obtaining loans.