BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The U.S. Attorney's Office says two Buffalo men have been indicted for allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment Thursday charging 42-year-old Larry Jordan and 38-year-old Sutukh El, also known as Curtis Jordan, with wire and bank fraud conspiracy, bank fraud and engaging in transactions with criminally derived property.
Officials say the two brothers allegedly participated in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking nearly $7 million in PPP loans from the Small Business Association under the CARES Act.
“These brothers allegedly stole more than $600,000 which was intended to assist businesses and employees that have been crippled by the pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy. “Their greed in the face of a national crisis has rightly landed them in federal court under indictment. We will investigate and charge anyone who seeks to use emergency federal aid as a way to try to get rich quick.”
Officials say the brothers conspired to submit at least eight fraudulent loan applications in an attempt to obtain nearly $7 million for their company, 5 Stems Inc.
The U.S. Attorney's Office says after receiving confirmation that a loan application was approved the following text messages were exchanged between the two:
“We really bout to take over the world,” and “Wow, we like Fake Rich.” Jordan replied: “We don’t even have to start paying back for 2 years,” and “Or just show what they ask us to show.” Another text from Sutukh El stated: “We’ll be in the billions by then anyway,” and “But definitely show what needs to be shown and write that (expletive) off!”
Officials say the fraudulent loan applications were supported by fake documents and the brothers are accused of using the loan money to pay personal expenses. More than $400,000 of the $600,000 they obtained has been seized.
Larry Jordan and Sutukh El were arraigned Thursday and released on conditions, the charges carry a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.