Devron Brown pled guilty on Dec. 14 to stealing $937,500 in PPP loans for his construction business in Philadelphia, Pa. Brown was indicted in June on two counts of bank fraud and attempted bank fraud as well as nine counts of money laundering.
The Paycheck Protection Program was a federal program to assist businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. Brown applied for his PPP loan in 2020 and received the funds in June of the same year.
Brown was accused of lying about his construction business Just Us Construction, Inc. to obtain the PPP loan by misrepresenting his number of employees, their salaries and payroll taxes. Brown also misappropriated funds to purchase a home in Florida, a luxury vehicle, a motorcycle and diamond jewelry.
Authorities claimed that Brown also applied for another PPP loan in early 2021 for the same amount but was denied. After being arrested and released on bail, Brown missed his court date and was declared a fugitive.
He was later apprehended by law enforcement and is currently in Pennsylvania awaiting sentencing. U.S. Attorney Williams released a statement regarding the case.
“Paycheck Protection Program funds are intended to help American small-businesses continue paying their employees, even if revenues have dropped dramatically due to the pandemic,” Williams said “Thieves who attempt to take these funds are taking advantage of others’ misfortune – ripping them off while also ripping off all taxpayers who fund the program. Here, the defendant fraudulently obtained nearly $1 million in funds that could have helped struggling businesses and individuals, and instead spent the money on indulgences for himself.”
Brown is the first person in the Pennsylvania area to be charged for PPP fraud. He allegedly bought a $250,000 house in Deltona, Fla. Brown also spent $43,000 ton a 2017 Lexus GS 350 for his mom and $50,000 on a 2018 Ford F350 XLT pickup truck.
Brown’s sentencing is scheduled for April of 2022.