VALDOSTA, Ga. – A Georgia man convicted for money laundering after he fraudulently filed for $2.6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was sentenced to prison and ordered to pay restitution exceeding $800,000.
Anthony J. Boncimino, 47, of Sycamore, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $802,321.28 in restitution to the Small Business Administration by U.S. District Judge Louis Sands on March 16. In addition, $507,556.23 was seized by the government as part of the investigation and will be returned to victims. Boncimino previously pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering. There is no parole in the federal system.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office is pursuing federal prosecution against those who deliberately cheated programs available for small businesses and citizens struggling to stay afoot during the global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Peter D. Leary. “Protecting honorable and hard-working people from fraudsters is a priority for our office and our law enforcement partners.”
QUOTE SBA OIG’s Eastern Region
QUOTE Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration
QUOTE IRS-Criminal Investigation
According to court documents, Boncimino admitted that he knowingly created two fictitious companies in order to obtain PPP loans fraudulently and obtained PPP loans for his moving business by falsifying payroll information. In all, Boncimino collected $2,671,871.74 in four PPP loans from three lender banks using fraud. Boncimino created fake IRS forms for his fictious companies and submitted these and other fraudulent records to the lender banks and the SBA. Boncimino used the money to pay for state and federal taxes; he told investigators he wanted a safety net for his family and his moving business.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Small Business Administration-OIG Eastern Region, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert McCullers is prosecuting the case. Retired Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane initiated the prosecution of this case.