A federal grand jury indicted a Nevada man on Wednesday for allegedly obtaining nearly $2 million in COVID-19 relief aid meant for struggling businesses.
The Review-Journal first reported last week on the initial charge of bank fraud against Jorge Abramovs. He was arrested on Jan. 17, and days later, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach ordered that he be detained pending trial.
The U.S. Attorney’s office in Nevada announced the case Thursday, after the indictment returned by a grand jury was posted on the court’s docket Wednesday.
Abramovs, 40, of Las Vegas, allegedly obtained nearly $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans between April and June 2020 from seven lenders by submitting multiple loan applications in the names of various businesses while falsely claiming to have numerous employees earning wages, according to the 19-page indictment filed in District Court.
The indictment states that Abramovs “spent proceeds of this fraud on luxury purchases for himself,” buying a 2020 Tesla, a 2020 Bentley and two condos at the Veer Towers, and paying off the mortgage of an existing home.
An attorney listed for Abramovs did not immediately respond to a call or email for comment.
Abramovs faces five counts of bank fraud, one count of making false statements to a bank and five counts of money laundering.
A detention order posted on the court’s docket lists that Abramovs has eight theft or fraud felony convictions over 15 years; has a different name on his Peruvian passport, which he denied having; and has had extensive recent foreign travel.
The FBI and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Earlier this week, a new report from Syracuse University found that the SBA is referring more criminal cases to federal prosecutors, most likely as a result of CARE Act-related fraud. The SBA, along with the U.S. Department of Treasury, administers the PPP funds.