William Sadleir, picture credit: Getty Images
Founder of Aviron Pictures, William Sadleir, has reportedly been arrested by FBI for allegedly using $1.7 million covid-19 funds for his personal use.
Reports say the
dismissed chairman of Aviron Pictures was arrested today, May 22, on federal fraud charges for allegedly using $1.7 million in the federal government’s coronavirus-relief Paycheck Protection Program funds for his personal use.
African Entertainment understands that he was taken into custody without incident by FBI agents and other federal officials.
US Department of Justice announced his arrest.
This portal understands that Sadleir allegedly filed applications for loans under the names of various Aviron entities through JPMorgan Chase – but not for the reasons he stated.
The complaint was accordingly filed on Thursday, May 21, 2020 and was unsealed after his arrest on Friday.
He is said to have been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution, and making false statements to the Small Business Administration.
The four charges carry a collective maximum statutory penalty of 82 years in federal prison.
In the affadavit, authorities linked Sadleir to the three PPP loan applications made on behalf of the three Aviron entities. All three applications claimed each company had 33 employees and monthly payroll expenses of well over $200,000. On April 30, JPMorgan Chase approved the loan applications, and the next day money was wired to nearly-empty JPMorgan Chase bank accounts associated with the three entities.
Within days, nearly $1 million of the PPP loan money was transferred into Sadleir’s personal account at JPMorgan Chase, the affidavit alleges. Investigators have determined that some of this money was used to pay personal expenses, including payments to Sadleir’s and his wife’s American Express cards. One payment allegedly made with PPP loan proceeds – a $40,000 payment on Sadleir’s car loan – was reversed, and JPChase Morgan froze the accounts associated with the alleged scheme.
U.S Attorney, Nick Hanna, on Friday in a statement, noted that “This film producer allegedly made a series of misrepresentations to a bank and the Small Business Administration to illegally secure taxpayer money that he then used to fund his nearly empty personal bank account.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented to help small businesses stay afloat during the financial crisis, and we will act swiftly against those who abuse the program for their own personal gain.”
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