Broken Arrow Man, Rafael Maturino Sentenced to Federal Prison After Fraudulently Applying for Paycheck Protection Program Forgivable Loan
(STL.News) A Broken Arrow man was sentenced today in federal court for fraudulently applying for a Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Rafael Maturino, 40, to 12 months and one day in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Eagan further ordered the defendant pay $97,800 in restitution to First Bank of Owasso. Maturino is required to self-surrender on July 14, 2021.
The defendant previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud after executing a scheme to defraud First Bank of Owasso when applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan under false pretenses on April 28, 2020. Maturino applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan on behalf of a company he claimed to own and operate, Maturino Enterprises, Inc. He submitted forms that misrepresented the company’s payroll expenditures, amount of taxes paid, and the number of people employed. In his plea agreement, Maturino admitted that he falsely represented in a Paycheck Protection Program “Borrower Application Form” submitted to First Bank of Owasso that Maturino Enterprises had an average monthly payroll of $39,152.92; had 5 employees; and was in operation on February 15, 2020. He further represented that he would use the requested loan funds to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments, as specified under the Paycheck Protection Program Rule. Maturino then signed the application form certifying the information was truthful.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding, and in December 2020, Congress authorized another $284 billion in funding.
The PPP allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of 1 percent. Paycheck Protection Program loan proceeds must be used by businesses on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within a set period and use a certain percentage of the loan towards payroll expenses.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Office of Inspector General; Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General; and FBI are the investigative agencies. Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A.S. Régal prosecuted the case.