Feds: Man defrauded pandemic programs of more than $300K
BANGOR, Maine (AP) — A man pleaded guilty Tuesday to defrauding federal pandemic assistance programs of more than $300,000, which investigators say was spent on trucks, exercise equipment, a big-screen TV and laptop computers.
Craig Franck, 40, of Levant, also used some of the relief money to post bail and hire a defense attorney after being charged with felony fraud in Florida, prosecutors said.
He pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud and money laundering charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced.
U.S. Attorney Darcie McElwee vowed to go after those who “take advantage of a national emergency simply to line their own pockets.”
Franck formerly owned CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems but neither company was in business or had employees in 2020 and 2021 when he applied for federal assistance during the pandemic, prosecutors said.
Franck received $177,400 from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program through the Small Business Administration and $145,060 from a private lender through the Paycheck Protection Program, prosecutors said.
U.S. District Judge Lance Walker entered a forfeiture order on Tuesday for about $320,000. Franck’s lawyer didn’t immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.