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Law360 (June 15, 2021, 6:41 PM EDT) —
A UCLA-educated Chinese language nationwide pled responsible in New York federal court docket on Tuesday to mendacity about his citizenship and creating phony “patriotic American” companies in a bid to fraudulently receive $20 million in federal coronavirus reduction loans.
Muge Ma, also called “Hummer Mars,” copped to at least one depend every of financial institution fraud and aggravated id theft throughout an in-person listening to in Manhattan, a consultant for prosecutors confirmed.
“Small companies are going through uncertainty and unprecedented challenges, the least of which must be opportunists trying to loot the federal funds meant to help them,” Manhattan U.S. Lawyer Audrey Strauss stated in an announcement. “Now Muge Ma awaits sentencing for his admitted felony skulduggery.”
Ma, a everlasting U.S. resident with a UCLA enterprise diploma, acquired forgivable loans through the Paycheck Safety Program and low-interest loans by means of the Financial Harm Catastrophe Mortgage program by falsely telling the U.S. Small Enterprise Administration and banks that his corporations had lots of of workers, in line with the feds.
He was arrested in Could 2020 and indicted on 9 counts together with main fraud in opposition to america, wire fraud and several other counts for making false statements.
From March 2020 by means of Could 15 that yr, Ma allegedly requested the SBA and 5 banks for loans to prop up his corporations, New York Worldwide Capital LLC and Hurley Human Sources LLC, which he operated from his $1.5 million luxurious Manhattan apartment and claimed employed lots of of individuals.
“In fact, Ma seems to be the one worker of both firm, and he had no authentic declare to the funds for which he utilized,” Strauss stated Tuesday.
Banks situation PPP loans, that are backed by the SBA, based mostly on what number of staff a enterprise pays. Ma submitted doctored tax, insurance coverage, payroll and auditing data to banks in assist of the fiction that he ran a pair of “world” corporations with scores of staff, the federal government stated.
Ma allegedly claimed one firm was a “patriotic American” COVID-19 take a look at equipment producer and the opposite would assist “unemployed American staff” adrift within the pandemic economic system. Prosecutors say he additionally lied about his citizenship standing and used one other individual’s id in service of the scheme.
He managed to get approvals for loans and advances totaling $660,000 by means of the EIDL program and $800,000 from the PPP earlier than investigators caught onto the ruse and froze the funds, the federal government stated.
U.S. District Decide Richard Berman has repeatedly deemed Ma a flight threat. The 37-year-old businessman has been inside Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Heart since his arrest.
Ma introduced he’d begun plea talks in September 2020. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 22, 2021, officers stated.
His lawyer declined to remark.
Ma is represented by Peter Neil Katz of Legislation Workplaces of Peter Katz LLC.
The federal government is represented by Sagar Kananur Ravi of the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Southern District of New York.
The case is USA v. Ma, case no 1:20-cr-00407, in U.S District Court docket for the Southern District of New York.
–Extra reporting by Pete Brush. Modifying by Amy Rowe.
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