Santa Clarita Man to Plead Guilty to COVID-19 Relief Fraud

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Santa Clarita man is expected to plead guilty this morning to a federal fraud charge for obtaining $655,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans by submitting phony tax documents and employee information.

Raymond Magana, 39, has agreed to enter a guilty plea via Zoom to a single federal count of fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Magana admits to fraudulently obtaining $655,000 in PPP loans, according to his plea agreement.

Last month, co-defendant Steven R. Goldstein, 36, of Northridge, pleaded guilty to the same charge. U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld Jr. scheduled a March 30 sentencing hearing for Goldstein, who faces up to 30 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say Goldstein and Magana applied for more than five separate PPP business loans totaling more than $2.5 million from various banks, according to documents filed in Los Angeles federal court.

The PPP loan program was launched at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and was designed to allow business owners to keep workers on their payroll.

Photo: Getty Images

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