VALDOSTA – A Georgia man pleaded guilty to money laundering after he filed for PPP loans amounting to more than $2.6 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Anthony J. Boncimino, 47, of Sycamore, Georgia, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering before U.S. District Judge Louis Sands in Valdosta. Boncimino faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 24. There is no parole in the federal system.

“Those who fraudulently capitalized during the global pandemic will be brought to justice for their crimes,” Peter D. Leary, the acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, said in a news release. “Investigators are working to hold CARES Act fraudsters accountable; our office will pursue federal prosecution when warranted.”

“Greed has no place in SBA’s programs that are intended to provide assistance to the nation’s small businesses struggling with the pandemic challenges,” SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite said. “Fraudsters attempting to gain access to economic stimulus funds will be met with justice. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.”

“While businesses were suffering and trying their best to make it through the pandemic, others chose greed,” Special Agent in Charge of IRS-Criminal Investigation James E. Dorsey said. “IRS-CI will continue to use its financial expertise to track and recommend prosecution of criminals taking advantage of a crisis.”

According to court documents, Boncimino admitted that he knowingly created two fictitious companies in order to obtain PPP loans fraudulently and obtained PPP loans for his moving business by falsifying payroll information. In all, Boncimino collected $2,671,871.74 in four PPP loans from three lender banks using fraud. Boncimino created fake IRS forms for his fictitious companies and submitted these and other fraudulent records to the lender banks and the SBA. Boncimino used the money to pay for state and federal taxes; he told investigators he wanted a safety net for his family and his moving business.

Small Business Administration-OIG Eastern Region, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and IRS-Criminal Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jim Crane is prosecuting the case.

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