DC Pastor bought a Tesla after fraudulently obtaining a PPP loan for $ 1.5 million

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Washington, DC pastor could face a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars after – as federal investigators claim – fraudulently obtaining funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (P3P) and using them to personal shopping.

The Ministry of Justice ad Earlier this month, Rudolph Brooks Jr., 45, of Maryland, faced a federal charge of wire fraud. Warrants were also obtained authorizing the seizure of more than $ 2.2 million spread over several bank accounts, in addition to a 2018 Tesla Model 3. The complaint was filed in late March and unsealed earlier this month afterwards. the arrest of Brooks.

Brooks – who is described elsewhere as pastor of the Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration in DC – also owns Cars Direct. The company was first incorporated with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation in October 2010, but was subsequently lost in 2012. In May of last year, however, Cars Direct has been relaunched.

The same month, according to the affidavit, Brooks applied for a PPP loan on behalf of Cars Direct in the amount of $ 1,556,589. In doing so, Brooks allegedly provided fraudulent tax forms, while the Maryland Department of Labor has no record of the company paying wages or of Brooks obtaining wages himself. And in an EIDL loan application in April on behalf of the same company, Brooks allegedly submitted information and documents that later contradicted what was claimed in the PPP loan application.

The Cars Direct loan was approved on May 9 of last year, when the $ 1.5 million was deposited into a bank account listing Brooks as the sole signatory. After the filing, Brooks is accused of making numerous PPP money transfers to personal bank accounts. Federal investigators said Brooks then used the P3 money for multiple “personal expenses,” including credit card bills, restaurant purchases, retail purchases, groceries, mortgage payments, and commissioners. auto auctioneers.

Later, in May 2020, Brooks reportedly used PPP funds from the Cars Direct account and a personal account to purchase 39 used cars. Brooks reportedly bought a 2017 Mercedes Benz S Class, two 2017 Infinity Q50s, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a 2005 Bentley Continental, a 2018 Tesla Model 3, a 2014 GMC Yukon XL and other older luxury cars. According to the terms of PPP loans, these purchases are not considered an appropriate use of the money provided.

Entering up to $ 2,296,136.86 on 11 different accounts and the Tesla, according to the DOJ press release, was set in motion because of the claim that the funds and vehicle “constitute or are derived from proceeds that can be attributed to false statements made on bank loan applications.”

A recent article by Blake Montgomery of the Daily Beast reported that Brooks would also have submitted PPP loan requests for Kingdom Tabernacle ($ 1.8 million) and Madaro Celtic Bank ($ 200,000).

As mentioned above, Brooks faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud, followed by an additional three years of supervised release. Sentences of this nature, however, are usually less than the maximum.



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