Man gets more than 3 years in prison for $13M COVID-19 fraud
BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts businessman convicted of fraudulently seeking more than $13 million in federal coronavirus pandemic relief loans has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Elijah Majak Buoi, 40, of Winchester, was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $2 million and forfeiture of $2 million by a Boston federal court judge Thursday.
Buoi was convicted by a jury of four counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution in February.
Prosecutors said Buoi submitted six loan applications through the Paycheck Protection Program but misrepresented the number of employees and payroll expenses for his startup company, Sosuda Tech.
He also submitted fraudulent IRS tax forms to support his applications and was able to obtain a $2 million loan before he was arrested in June 2020.
Buoi’s lawyer didn’t respond to an email seeking comment Friday but said after the February trial that his client had been misled by a bank loan officer and made a “good faith mistake” in completing the tax forms.
The loan program was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act that allowed qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive forgivable loans to cover payroll, mortgages, rent and utilities.
Prosecutors also said Friday that another Massachusetts resident was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for his involvement in a separate set of pandemic relief-related schemes.
William Cordor, 27, of Leicester, was ordered to pay $8,000 in restitution by a Worcester federal court judge on Thursday.
Cordor pleaded guilty last year to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft.
Prosecutors say Cordor attempted to file numerous false claims for unemployment in Nevada using stolen identities and fraudulently obtained COVID-19 loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.