Dozens Of Chicago Inmates Scored PPP Loans To Make Bond
At least 25 people in Joliet, Illinois who were facing drug or weapons charges obtained PPP loans for fake businesses, and then used the money to make bond to get out of jail, Fox32 Chicago reports.
So far, 15 people have been arrested and charged with offenses ranging from wire fraud to theft, during an investigation dubbed "Operation Triple P."
Another 10 individuals are wanted for the same crimes.
According to officials, inmates at the Will County Jail had been applying for, and receiving Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans using fraudulent information. It's unclear if any of the inmates claimed to own a motorcycle dealer.
"Some of the targets bonded out on their felony cases days after receiving their fraudulent PPP loan," said Joliet Police Chief William Evans during a Wednesday press conference.
The scheme was uncovered in November 2021, when Joliet detectives began comparing names on PPP loans to the names of inmates facing felonies - which should have disqualified them from the program.
"The majority of them also use their home address. So we did several periodic spot checks on the residence," said Detective James Kilgore of the Joliet PD.
Maria Beach and Adrian Clark were locked up during the pandemic for unrelated gun offenses.
Police say from their cellphone, they applied for and received PPP loans. Beach claimed to run a barbershop from a home in Rockdale, while Clark claimed to run a barbershop from an apartment in a Joliet house.
According to records, Beach received nearly $21,000 dollars in PPP loans. Clark got two PPP loans for the same barbershop location totaling nearly $42,000.
Both are now part of the 15 people locked up again. -Fox32 Chicago
Joliet PD worked with US Marshals and the Will County State Attorney's office, as well as the Department of Labor and Chicago's office of Homeland Security Investigations.
"These triple-P loans, that they’re obtaining fraudulently, they are taking that money out of the businesses in our local area that actually need them," said Acting Special Agent in charge of the Chicago DHS Investigations office, adding that this type of PPP loan fraud has happened across the country.