Two local men are accused of taking the opportunity to get an unearned piece of the action from a federal program to subsidize businesses hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Larry Jordan, 42, of Lancaster and his brother Curtis Jordan, 38, of Buffalo, usually known as Sutukh El, are accused to trying to get $7 million in cash from the Paycheck Protection Program. They allegedly only received one part of the money: $605,000.
U.S. Attorney James Kennedy said they forged a series of official papers to show they deserved the money, requested in the eight different applications. However, he said there were built-in precautions to the PPP, which allowed authorities to catch the brothers.
Kennedy said the two had great data in the application, all fake.
"They succeeded in those eight applications, securing a loan in one of them, and that loan was funded in the amount of about $605,000," he said. "They falsely claimed that they had 194 employees and a monthly payroll of about a quarter of a million dollars."
Kennedy said there was a social media portion to what was going on and that the brothers used the cash to support their lifestyle.
"They used it for things like home repairs, to purchase two vehicles. They bought securities. In fact, Mr. Sutukh El even posted a rap video holding a large amount of $100 bills after he had made a large cash withdrawal, having received this 600,000 plus dollars."
Kennedy said the feds have recovered $400,000 so far.
The brothers had an initial court appearance Thursday and will be in court late this month. They face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.