Wednesday, August 2, 2023

NASA Employee Used COVID Funds to Grow Pot and Pay Off His Real Estate Debt; Mooresville Man Accused of Multi-Million Dollar Investment, COVID Relief Loan Fraud, and other C-Virus related stories

Tony Dejak/AP
NASA employee used COVID funds to grow pot and pay off his real estate debt, feds say:
A NASA employee was caught using COVID-19 relief loans to support an illegal marijuana-growing endeavor and erase his real estate debt, federal prosecutors said.
Armen Hovanesian, 32, who works for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, an agency research center run by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, had applied for COVID-19 relief loans to help his small businesses during the early stages of the pandemic in 2020, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
As a result, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, run by the Small Business Administration, granted Hovanesian $151,900 in COVID-19 relief funds, federal prosecutors said.
Hovanesian, of Glendale, California, went on to defraud the federal loan program — which provided economic aid to businesses struggling during the pandemic — by using the loans to buy marijuana cultivation equipment and to repay real estate debt, court documents show.
He’s agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud, the attorney’s office announced in a July 24 news release. After doing so, he will face up to 20 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
Information regarding Hovanesian’s legal representation wasn’t listed in court records as of July 25.
Hovanesian works as a cost-control and budget-planning resource analyst at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. --->READ MORE HERE
Mooresville man accused of multi-million dollar investment, COVID relief loan fraud:
A Mooresville man is accused of carrying out an investment fraud scheme, fraudulently obtaining nearly $3 million in COVID-19 relief loans in the process.
#NEW Mooresville man indicted on federal charges for fraudulently receiving $2.6 million in COVID relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program

Channel Nine has previously reported on Steven Andiloro after he was arrested for running a security company without a license in…

— Genevieve Curtis (@GenevieveonTV) July 20, 2023
Steven Andiloro was indicted on July 19. He’s charged with securities and wire fraud; if convicted, for each charge, he could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a $250,000 fine. He’s also charged with money laundering, which has a sentence of up to 10 years.
Investigators said Andiloro used money from his investors to fund his personal lifestyle and to make Ponzi-style payments to his victims. Andiloro is also accused of submitting fraudulent applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, receiving millions of dollars as a result.
According to the indictment, from January 2018 to December 2021, Andiloro allegedly operated the investment fraud scheme. Investigators believe he wasn’t truthful to his investors about how their money would be used, and he convinced them to invest their money in both real and fake businesses. The indictment alleges Andiloro promised some of his victims their money would be invested in a marijuana dispensary business that doesn’t exist, and he would in turn give them a 10% stake in ownership. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Long COVID Is Still Affecting Some People’s Brains Two Years After Infection

Lexington CEO will serve prison time after selling counterfeit N95 masks during pandemic

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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