CLEVELAND — A father and son in Northeast Ohio are facing federal charges for allegedly taking part in a scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans.
Deon D. Levy, 50, of Bedford, and Abdul-Azeem Levy, 22, of Cleveland, were charged on June 8 with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to federal complaints unsealed Thursday and a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Like thousands of American business owners, the Levys applied for a PPP loan, meant to provide release from the pandemic, and records show they received between $350,000 and $1 million for their business, Apex Now.
Federal authorities allege the Levys lied on their application, inflating the number of employees, profits, and size of their payroll so they could get more money.
The U.S. Attorneys Office said bank employees noticed something was fishy and tipped them off, leading them to a talent management company in Florida that they say helped fake documents for several business owners, including the Levys.
“As many of our family, friends and neighbors suffered adverse economic consequences from our nation’s response to a global pandemic, these defendants were allegedly looking for ways to profit off of our collective troubles and fears,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman, “The Justice Department will continue to work long hours with our federal, state, and local partners to find and prosecute those who may have defrauded the public of funds meant to help the American economy recover from this once-in-a-century catastrophe.”