South Carolina entrepreneurs plead guilty over pandemic loan scam

"Loan Scam"

In a scandalous turn of events, three food entrepreneurs hailing from South Carolina stand accused of exploiting pandemic government loan programs. The trio, some of who are linked to a business in West Ashley, have reportedly decided to plead guilty.

The accused allegedly scammed a sum of $590,800 from loan programs like the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Authorities claim that the funds were claimed using false information about non-existent companies and exaggerated wage and business expenses. Shockingly, the funds, meant to aid struggling businesses during the pandemic, were misused for personal expenses instead.

Two of the accused, William Chan and Siu Chan, were formally charged with wire fraud conspiracy. It’s reported that they used three forgivable tax-backed loans, totaling $440,000, for unauthorized spending rather than pandemic-related relief.

South Carolina food entrepreneurs’ guilty plea over loan fraud

This misuse of the PPP could lead to severe charges including bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. If the Chan brothers are found guilty, they could face harsh penalties.

As per their plea deals, each of the accused might face up to five years in prison and fines up to $250,000. In addition, they will have to surrender any assets bought using the fraudulently attained funds.

Ka Ho Chan, allegedly related to the other accused, faces similar charges. Ka Ho Chan is said to have attained an emergency SBA loan of $149,900 and a $1,000 grant under false pretenses and used the funds for personal luxuries. His plea deal could lead to 20 years in prison, fines up to $250,000, and surrendering fraudulently bought assets.

As of last report from July 8, court dates remain unset. These prosecutions hint at a growing incidence of pandemic relief fund misuse among the businesses in the Charleston area.