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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.

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Chicago police believe an aspiring rapper's rivals hunted him for 2 days before killing his daughter in a McDonald's drive-thru.

Jontae Adams, 29, and his daughter Jaslyn were in their car in the drive-thru when two men sprayed the car with bullets on Sunday, April 18.

Jaslyn died from multiple gunshot wounds and her father was seriously injured in a shooting, according to THV11 News.

A McDonald's employee who asked to remain anonymous told the Chicago Sun-Times that two men got out of a gray car in the drive-thru and started shooting into Adams' car.

Adams, also known as Tilla, is one half of the Chicago rap due Tilla & Bully Bino.

The day before the shooting, Tilla wrote on Facebook "Opps probably downstairs waiting on me", which is slang for gang rivals are waiting to ambush him.

Police believe the shooting was gang-related. But the Internet says the gunmen wanted part of a $20,000 PPP loan that Adams received recently.

No arrests have been made yet.

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An Instagram model with three children to support is pleading with Internet users to donate money to GoFundMe to help her repay a PPP loan.

The woman named Lakeisha G. applied for an emergency Covid-19 relief loan and was approved for $20,000 in 2020.

Millions of Americans were also approved for loans for small businesses that only exist on paper or in their minds.

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Those fraudsters are now scrambling to find the cash to repay the loans or buy time to avoid prison.

Lakeisha launched a GoFundMe page to raise the money to repay her loan. So far, she has raised nearly $4,000 of her $20,000 goal.

The desperate mom wrote: "I got 20k ppp loan now the feds after me plz help I can't do jail!! I got 3 kids dat need me!!!"

In an update on Monday, she wrote: "Keep the donations coming y'all my kids need me out here frfr [sic]."

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In Georgia, hundreds of people have already been charged with submitting false claims to exploit taxpayer funded pandemic relief programs.

On March 24, ten people in Georgia, Washington DC and Maryland were arrested and charged with working as a group "to submit fraudulent loan applications on behalf of non-existent businesses as part of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)."

The defendants include 38-year-old Alicia Quarterman of Fayetteville, Georgia, who received $490,000. And Katrina Lawson, a former deputy sheriff for Fulton County, Georgia, who obtained at least $224,000 in PPP loans.

"The defendants allegedly abused both programs by submitting fraudulent applications and obtaining thousands of dollars that should have gone to support struggling businesses," wrote Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine in a statement. "We will work tirelessly to protect the integrity of the EIDL and PPP and to help small businesses stay afloat."

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The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has delayed the April 15 tax filing deadline to May 17, giving taxpayers an extra month to pay any PPP taxes or outstanding levies.

Small business owners were blindsided by the news that they may owe thousands or millions of dollars for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans they received last year.

A PPP loan can be forgiven as long as at least 60% has been spent on employee payroll costs. Forgiven PPP loans are tax exempt. But those who spent their PPP loans on expenses other than payroll will owe taxes on the loan.

"This extension is absolutely necessary to give Americans some needed flexibility in a time of unprecedented crisis," House Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal and Representative Bill Pascrell said in a statement Wednesday. “While we are pleased with this 30-day extension, we will continue to monitor developments during this hectic filing season."

The tax deadline extension was also necessary because IRS workers are busy processing a third round of $1,400 checks. The IRS said Wednesday it has so far sent about 90 million payments totaling $242 billion.

As of early March 2021, the IRS has been behind in the number of tax returns filed and processed, and in the number of refunds issued.

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A member of the hip-hop group Pretty Ricky was arrested and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Diamond Blue Smith, also known as "Baby Blue", was hit with federal charges after investigators say he attempted to obtain $24 million in PPP funds to buy lavish items, including a Ferrari.

Smith, 36, is accused of fraudulently obtaining a coronavirus relief loan and then using the money to purchase a $96,000 Ferrari among other luxury items.

Smith, of Miramar, Florida, along with Tonye C. Johnson, of Pennsylvania, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Georgia on Monday.

According to the federal complaint, Smith and Johnson falsified loan documents to obtain a $426,717 loan under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program for his company Throwbackjersey.com LLC.

The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump to help small businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith also applied for another loan in the amount of $708,065 for another company, Blue Star Records LLC. And he allegedly applied for loans in the names of other individuals, using falsified documents.

The Ferrari and other luxury items, as well as his bank accounts were seized by the feds.

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Smith, 2nd from right, is best known as a member of R&B/hip hop group Pretty Ricky. The other members are (L-R) Slick 'Em, Spectacular and Pleasure.

The group enjoyed modest success in the mid-2000s with their platinum singles "Grind With Me" and "On The Hotline".

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In an unprecedented monetary overhaul, the Federal Reserve is preparing to deposit "digital dollars" directly to every American.

According to Zerohedge, the Fed is preparing to "radically overhaul" its monetary system to reduce inflation and stimulate the economy amid pandemic shutdowns.

While the Democrats and Republicans bicker over how many more trillions to pay into another pandemic relief package, the Fed is proposing a monetary tool that they call recession insurance bonds, which will be wired instantly to Americans.

The Fed would activate a lump sum that would be divided equally and distributed to households in a recession, according to Zerohedge.

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The money would come from insurance bonds purchased by the Fed on the open market. The digital dollars would be deposited directly into household apps.

"It took Congress too long to get money to people, and it's too clunky," said former Fed official Simon Potter.

"The Fed could buy the bonds quickly without going to the private market. On March 15 they could have said interest rates are now at zero, we're activating X amount of the bonds, and we'll be tracking the unemployment rate -- if it increases above this level, we'll buy more [bonds]."

During a speech to the Chicago Payment Symposium on Wednesday, Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester said, "legislation has proposed that each American have an account at the Fed in which digital dollars could be deposited, as liabilities of the Federal Reserve Banks, which could be used for emergency payments."

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But there's a catch. According to Zerohedge, the Fed giveth and the Fed taketh away (you drug dealers will want to pay attention to this part).

Once physically currency is replaced by digital dollars, the Fed would then be able to scrap "anonymous" physical currency entirely, and track every single banknote from its "creation" all though the various transactions that take place during its lifetime. And, eventually, the Fed could remotely "destroy" said digital currency when it so decides.*

Oh, and say goodbye to your banks, as the Fed would both provide loans to consumers and directly deposit funds into their accounts, effectively making the entire traditional banking system obsolete.*

*(bold emphasis mine)

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Atlanta entrepreneurs Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker appear to have closed their new restaurant before it even opened.

A loyal reader emailed a photo that shows the RHOA cast members took down that gigantic "Blaze" sign over their shuttered steak & seafood restaurant in Southwest Atlanta.

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If you recall, Kandi and Todd announced the opening of their newest establishment in the Camp Creek Marketplace last month. They also placed a "NOW HIRING" sign in the window.

But, according to my spy, the big Blaze sign came down days ago and there is no indication that the restaurant will be opening its doors anytime soon.

The new restaurant was inspired by their infant daughter, Blaze Tucker, who was delivered via surrogate on Nov. 22, 2019.

The couple already own and operate three "Old Lady Gang" soul food restaurants around the metro Atlanta area.

My spy noted that Blaze steakhouse may have been in conflict with Blaze Pizzeria restaurant chain in Atlanta.

But a quick search of Atlanta businesses turns up other "Blaze" establishments, such as Blaze strip club, the Atlanta Blaze men's lacrosse team, Blaze radio, and Blaze Sports America, among others.

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Another explanation is that the funding for Kandi and Todd's new restaurant fell through. They managed to secure funding for Blaze restaurant through the government's PPP coronavirus stimulus relief package.

According to Screenrant.com, the couple received between $150,000 and $350,000 in PPP funds set aside for struggling small businesses amid the pandemic.

The loans were approved on April 29 and the funds were disbursed through TruFund Financial Services, despite the fact that Kandi allegedly has a net worth of around $30 million.

According to Screenrant.com, Kandi and Todd shouldn't have been entitled to the PPP loans in the first place since they pass themselves off as a wealthy couple.

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Rapper Tip "T.I." Harris shared advice for people taking advantage of the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Harris noted the empty racks and shelves at high end stores, and he advised his followers to stop spending money on brand names and buy property instead.

"All y'all getting all this money from the government... ain't no more mink coats in the stores. And it's summertime - ain't that some sh*t? Ain't no more Cartiers. It ain't no more Louboutins, no more Louis [Vuitton]... Go get you some property please! Please y'all, go buy some property."

T.I. held up a baseball cap with the word "Owner$hip" on the front, before urging his followers to buy a "patch of dirt" in their neighborhood. "It ain't got to have a house on it," he said. "Just buy it. Just buy it and hold it.

In unrelated news, there are reports that federal agents are knocking on doors and arresting people who fraudulently obtained unemployment benefits using false information.

Residents in California report that agents are disguised as utility workers and census workers to catch people who committed unemployment fraud.
 

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NFL wide receiver Josh Bellamy is among 57 people charged with Covid-19 relief fraud after FBI officials say he misused PPP funds to buy Gucci and other high end luxury goods.

The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the $2 trillion Cares Act, which provided $349 billion in PPP loans to struggling small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic via the Small Business Association (SBA).

The FBI says Bellamy participated in a scheme to fleece the federal government out of $24 million in Paycheck Protection funds.

Bellamy, 31, was cut by the NY Jets 2 days ago. It isn't clear if his termination is linked to his arrest.

Prosecutors say Bellamy and his associates applied for $24 million in PPP funds for their businesses. They received $17.4 million - but neither Bellamy nor his associates used the money for their businesses.

Instead, Bellamy spent $95,000 on custom jewelry, $5,381 at Gucci and $2,014 at Dior. He also dropped more than $62,000 during a recent trip to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, TMZ reported.

Authorities say Bellamy recruited others to apply for giant loans using false information -- then took kickbacks from each borrower.

Bellamy owns Drip Entertainment - an events promotion company - that hasn't been active since 2019.

Bank records show Bellamy withdrew large amounts of cash - around $302,000 between May and July 2020.

If convicted on all charges, Bellamy faces decades in prison.

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A Florida man who used COVID-relief funds from the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to purchase a Lamborghini has been arrested.

Authorities say David T. Hines, of Miami, Florida, fraudulently obtained $4 million in PPP funds and used part of those funds to purchase a $318,000 Lamborghini Huracan Evo sports car.

The feds seized the Lamborghini and $3.4 million from bank accounts at the time of his arrest.

Hines made his initial court appearance before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge John J. O'Sullivan in the Southern District of Florida on Monday.

He was formally charged with one county of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a financial institution and one count of engaging in transactions in unlawful proceeds.

The complaint alleges Hines applied for $13.5 million at Bank of America on behalf of his six moving companies. He claimed he had 70 employees with a monthly payroll of $4 million.

Applicants who are approved for PPP loans are required to deposit the funds into a separate bank account created specifically for the loan so the feds can see where the money is spent.

The loans are forgivable if the money is spent on mortgage, rent, and utilities and at least part of the loan is spent on payroll.

The complaint alleges that the bank approved three of the applications for $3.9 million and began depositing hundreds of thousands of dollars into Hines's bank account.

Hines allegedly transferred some of the funds to his savings account within days and wired $318,497 to Lamborghini Miami, a luxury car dealership on Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami Beach on May 18.

The Lamoborghini was jointly registered to Hines and his business, records show.

Bank records show Hines spent some of the cash to make purchases at luxury retailers, on jewelry, and on rooms at luxury resorts in Miami Beach.

The federal complaint further alleges that Hines did not use the money to make payroll payments that he claimed on his loan applications.

Hines' companies showed monthly revenue and expenses averaging about $200,000 - much less than the millions he claimed on the loan applications.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Berger said scammers are able to exploit and defraud the Small Business Association (SBA) because the SBA doesn't bother to check any of the claims made on applications.

"In the ordinary course of providing the loan guaranty, neither the SBA nor any other government agency checked IRS records to confirm that the applicant had paid the payroll taxes represented in the PPP applications," says the criminal affidavit.