Queens Man and Gelpys Joel Peralta-Gutierrez Charged with Fraud of $ 1.7 Million Paycheck Protection Program
The accused falsely claimed that 62 employees worked in a New York City Housing Authority apartment in Long Island City
(STL.News) An indictment was issued yesterday in Brooklyn Federal Court for indictment Gelpys Joël Peralta-Gutierrez with conspiracy of electronic fraud concerning a fraudulent application for a loan under the United States The Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which Congress established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES”). Peralta-Gutierrez was previously arrested in February 2021 on a criminal complaint and will be brought to justice at a later date.
Mark J. Lesko, Acting United States Lawyer for the Eastern District of new York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Deputy Director in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, new York Outdoor office (FBI) and Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Special Agent in Charge of the Inspector General’s Office of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Eastern Region Office (SBA-OIG), announced the charges.
“As alleged, Peralta-Gutierrez falsely claimed he needed government loan benefits to pay his employees during the pandemic, but deliberately lined his own pockets with $ 1.7 million,” Acting said United States Prosecutor Lesko. “This office will not hesitate to enforce the full weight of the law against those who for personal gain profit from the COVID crisis and illegally divert funds from vital government aid programs.”
“As claimed, Peralta took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program, which was created to provide emergency financial assistance to businesses in need during the pandemic. While claiming to have 62 employees on his payroll, he received $ 1.7 million in taxpayer-funded relief to support his claims. According to other business aid applications he filed, however, he only had one employee. the FBI will continue to aggressively pursue those who use the money from this economic aid program to line their pockets. If you know of any similar cases of fraud, please call us at 1-800-CALL-FBI, “declared FBI Deputy Director in charge of Sweeney.
“The lie to gain access to economic stimulus funds will be judged by justice,” said Special Agent in charge of the SBA-OIG McCall-Brathwaite. “The SBA-OIG will aggressively pursue evidence of fraud against SBA programs aimed at helping small businesses across the country grappling with the challenges of the pandemic. I want to thank the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice. “
As noted in court records, in June 2020, Peralta-Gutierrez arranged for a PPP loan application to be submitted on behalf of his company, J Films HD Inc., claiming he employed 62 employees with a payroll monthly total of nearly $ 700,000. Based on these statements, Peralta-Gutierrez’s company obtained a loan of more than $ 1.7 million. The location that Peralta-Gutierrez presented as his business address, however, was a new York City Housing Authority apartment at the Queensbridge Houses. In Peralta-Gutierrez’s claims for further business relief, he acknowledged that in reality his business only had one employee and total revenues of around $ 50,000.
The charge in the indictment is an allegation, and the accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty. If found guilty, he faces up to 20 years in prison.
The government’s case is handled by the Agency’s Corporate and Securities Fraud Section. Assistant United States Lawyer Lauren Howard Elbert is in charge of the prosecution.
GELPYS JOEL PERALTA-GUTIERREZ (also known as “Joel Peralta”)
Long Island City, new York
EDNY file n ° 21-CR-149 (DG)