Description: Portland, Oregon criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with bank fraud.
In February 2017, Theodore Johnson, 62, a Portland resident, incorporated and began serving as the director of operations for Ten Penny International Housing Foundation, an Oregon-based non-profit organization. After Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to American employers, Johnson saw an opportunity to fraudulently obtain government funds on Ten Penny’s behalf.
In early March 2021, Johnson submitted his first of three Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications, falsely claiming Ten Penny employed 16 people and had an average monthly payroll of more than $57,000. To support his application, Johnson submitted fraudulent tax documents and created an electronic counterfeit IRS stamp to make it appear as though his forms had been received by the IRS. Based on these false claims, Northeast Bank issued a PPP loan worth more than $143,000 to Ten Penny.
Two months later, in May 2021, Johnson submitted two more fraudulent PPP loan applications. In these applications, he again falsely claimed Ten Penny employed 16 people and had an average monthly payroll of at least $50,000. Johnson further falsely claimed to have used the entirety of his first PPP loan for eligible expenses. As a result, Central Willamette Credit Union issued Johnson a second PPP loan worth more than $130,000.
In addition to his three fraudulent PPP loan applications, Johnson submitted a fraudulent Oregon Cares Fund application on behalf of Ten Penny and received an additional $34,975.
On October 31, 2022, Johnson was charged by criminal information with one count of bank fraud and two months later, on December 29, 2022, pleaded guilty to the single charge.
This case was investigated by the SBA Office of Inspector General and U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). It was prosecuted by Meredith D.M. Bateman, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Oregon.
Outcome: Defendant was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and three years’ supervised release. He was also ordered to pay approximately $321,000 in restitution to two banks, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the Oregon Department of Administrative Services.