BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts businessman convicted of fraudulently applying for more than $13 million in federal coronavirus pandemic relief loans has been sentenced to more than three years in prison.
Elijah Majak Buoi, 40, of Winchester, was also sentenced Thursday to three years’ supervised release and to pay $2 million in restitution and forfeit $2 million by a Boston federal court judge.
Buoi was convicted by a jury in February of four counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements to a financial institution.
Prosecutors said Buoi submitted six loan applications through the Paycheck Protection Program but misrepresented the number of employees and wage costs for his start-up Sosuda Tech.
He also filed fraudulent IRS tax forms to support his applications and was able to secure a $2 million loan before being arrested in June 2020.
Buoi’s lawyer did not respond to an email seeking comment on Friday, but said after the February trial his client was “misled” by a loan officer at the bank and made a “bona fide error” in filling out tax forms.
The loan program was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, which allowed qualifying small businesses and other organizations to obtain forgivable loans to cover payroll, mortgages, rent and utilities.
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