Two suspects accused of filing fraudulent loan applications

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TEXARKANA, Texas – A man and woman accused of filing hundreds of fraudulent loan applications for funds to help small businesses during the pandemic are named in a nine-count indictment released Wednesday before a federal court in Texarkana.

Clifton Pape, 45, and Sally Jung, 58, both of Cleveland, Texas, allegedly exploited their scheme through a company called My Buddy Loans, according to a criminal complaint, an indictment filed in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas, and a press release from the United States Attorney’s Office.

The indictment accuses Pape and Jung of conspiring to commit telemarketing wire fraud making 10 or more people over the age of 55 in its first count. The indictment also includes four counts of wire fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting.

The indictment estimates his loss at $ 1.3 million or more and the illicit proceeds obtained by Pape and Jung at more than $ 700,000.

“We believe this investigation – to date – concerns the largest number of individual fraudulent EIDL (economic disaster loan) claims associated with the CARES Act,” Acting US Attorney Nicholas Ganjei said in a statement. Press.

In return for significant fees, Pape and Jung’s purported telemarketing scheme involved the use of personal information from victims who believed they were applying for a farm subsidy. Instead of filing grant applications, Pape and Jung reportedly filed fraudulent EIDL applications with the Small Business Administration using victims’ personal data.

The EIDL funds authorized under the Coronavirus Relief Program were intended to help small businesses with employees.

Pape and Jung reportedly used Square’s debit card processing service to charge victims a fee of $ 1,000 at least 700 times. While the government seized a bank account containing over $ 500,000, which allegedly contained part of the money, not all funds were recovered.

According to the complaint, Pape and Jung used more than $ 3,600 to pay for a stay at a resort in San Antonio, Texas. The criminal complaint includes a photo of the two defendants allegedly celebrating over drinks at the complex.

If found guilty, Pape and Jung face long federal prison sentences and hefty financial penalties.

The first count, the conspiracy charge, carries a sentence of up to 30 years and a fine “not to exceed the greater of $ 1 million, double the gross gain and double the amount of. the gross loss ”. If the conspiracy turns out to involve telemarketing or email marketing, the defendants could be sentenced to an additional five years and if the offense involves the victimization of 10 or more people over the age of 55, an additional sentence of up to 10 years is possible.

This means that the maximum sentence for count one is 45 years.

Counts two to five allege wire fraud. Each of these counts carries a penalty of up to 30 years and the same fine as count one.

Counts six through nine allege aggravated identity theft and aiding and abetting. Each is liable to a sentence of up to two years and any sentence must be carried out consecutively to any other sentence imposed. A fine of up to $ 250,000 is also possible for each of the identity theft charges.

In an initial appearance on the criminal complaint last month, U.S. investigating magistrate Caroline Craven appointed Texarkana attorney Jeff Harrelson to represent Pope and Longview, Texas attorney Jason Cassel to represent Jung. Both defendants are currently free from any apparently unsecured bond of $ 20,000.

A date for the appearance of Jung and Pape had not been set Thursday at press time.

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