BOSTON – A Massachusetts man who lied on his application for federal funds to stimulate coronavirus business and then used some of the $ 400,000 he received to pay off his mortgage has pleaded guilty to electronic fraud, federal prosecutors said .
Adley Bernadin, 44, of Stoughton, filed his plea in U.S. District Court in Boston on Wednesday, according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Rachael Rollins’ office.
In May 2020, Bernadin filed a fraudulent application on behalf of an alleged home care company for a $ 400,000 loan to the Paycheck Protection Program, falsifying a tax form and mistakenly claiming the company had a monthly salary of $ 175,200, prosecutors said.
The program, adopted as part of the CARES Act in March 2020 to provide financial relief to Americans suffering financially from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, provided forgiving loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other approved expenses.
Bernadin used the funds to pay off mortgages on his home and wrote checks to people he knew, including $ 135,000 to a person described by prosecutors as his wife or partner, authorities said.
Bernadin, who was arrested in March, risks up to 20 years in prison after sentencing scheduled for September 28.
The US Secret Service reported in December that at least $ 100 billion has been stolen from federal COVID-19 emergency aid programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.