LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Lakewood man has agreed to plead guilty on Friday to a federal charge alleging he threatened to bomb Small Business Administration offices and assault employees, apparently in response to his inability to obtain COVID-19 emergency business loans.
Christopher Antoun, 30, is expected to enter his plea to a single count of making threats by interstate communication, a felony carrying a sentence of up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Antoun -- who owned Federal Student Loan Consulting LLC, a company he ran out of his residence -- attempted to obtain a COVID-19 Emergency Injury Disaster Loan two years ago, court papers show.
The loans provide borrower-friendly capital to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
On May 3, 2020, after he failed to receive approval for an emergency loan or an advance from the SBA, Antoun sent an email to an SBA-monitored email account and wrote, in part, ``IT GOES INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT OR I START BOMBING EVERY LOCATION OWNED BY THE SBA,'' according to his plea agreement, filed Monday in Los Angeles.
An SBA loan officer in Texas received the email and contacted law enforcement, according to court papers.
Prosecutors said that when law enforcement interviewed Antoun at his home, he said he was high on marijuana and drunk on alcohol when he sent the threatening email and had no intention of carrying out the threat.
Antoun was then given a warning, federal prosecutors said.
But during the summer and fall of 2021, Antoun again attempted to obtain SBA-backed loans and loan advances. Following difficulty in obtaining the loans and advances, Antoun allegedly sent a threatening email to several SBA employees.
In that email, Antoun threatened to walk into the SBA's Los Angeles district office ``with my nice shiny bat'' and ``start beating the skulls of SBA staff in. Once the police or whoever it is eventually stops me im (sic) going to go to jail,'' court papers state.