Lebnitz Tran, a Californian has been charged with fraud after it was discovered that he used taxpayers money to invest in cryptocurrency.
According to The Mercury News, the US Department of Justice has accused a California man with nine charges of wire fraud and bank fraud after he reportedly used taxpayer-backed loans to purchase cryptocurrency.
The above charges have a maximum punishment of 50 years in prison.
Lebnitz Tran was able to rake in over $3.6 million in ill-gotten gains by filing over 30 fake Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) applications on behalf of various individuals and businesses.
Tran would move a percentage of the stolen funds to his personal bank accounts in addition to splurging on bitcoin.
According to the DOJ lawsuit, he also spent $100,000 on a brand-new Tesla automobile.
Last year, a number of scammers took advantage of the fact that PPP loans were being given out with few background checks during the growing pandemic.
When it came to Tran, his multiple identical applications were viewed as a clear red signal.
In June 2020, he allegedly formed four firms with false addresses barely one month before getting up to $1 million in loans.
The Department of Justice also brought criminal charges against a Texan in July for orchestrating a similar cryptocurrency fraud operation on the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.
For a BBQ company with no recognized workers, Joshua Thomas Argires obtained nearly $1 million in PPP loans.