L.A. Man to Plead Guilty to $7.3M Coronavirus Relief Fraud

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles man is set to plead guilty this morning to federal charges that he fraudulently obtained at least $7.3 million in coronavirus relief funds and gambled away some of it in Las Vegas.

Andrew Marnell, 41, has agreed to enter his plea to bank fraud and money laundering charges for submitting fake and altered documents, including bogus federal tax filings and employee payroll records, to insured financial institutions on behalf of different companies, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Federal prosecutors contend that the Paycheck Protection Program loan applications were made using fake identifications that were aliases of Marnell, and that he made numerous false statements about the companies' business operations and payroll expenses.

Marnell transferred the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds to his brokerage account to make high-risk stock market investments and similarly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the money at a Las Vegas casino, Los Angeles prosecutors contend.

As part of his plea, Marnell agreed to forfeit more than $1.5 million, two Rolex Oyster watches, a Land Rover Range Rover, a Ducati motorcycle and other items. He agreed with a restitution amount of over $7.3 million.

The PPP loans were part of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provided aid for millions of Americans experiencing the economic effects of the pandemic.

Copyright 2021, City News Service, Inc.

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