According to federal prosecutors, Sean Kirkpatrick spent the money on cash withdrawals, payments to creditors, criminal associates, insurance and cell phones.
PORTLAND, Oregon — A Portland man created two fake businesses, including a restaurant called “Slippery Pete’s,” to defraud the government of COVID-19 relief funds, according to court documents.
Sean Kirkpatrick of Portland has been charged with wire fraud and aggravated identity theft in federal court. Prosecutors allege Kirkpatrick received nearly $100,000 in Paycheck Protection Program funding.
Court records show Kirkpatrick is unemployed and was recently released from prison following a felony drug conviction.
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Federal prosecutors allege that Kirkpatrick filed two fraudulent PPP loan applications with the Small Business Administration.
In February 2021, Kirkpatrick used the victims’ stolen IDs to apply for a $48,125 PPP loan on behalf of a company called Sphere Integration Group, according to prosecutors. Records show there was no such business.
In March 2021, federal prosecutors allege that Kirkpatrick used his name to apply for a second loan of $48,625 on behalf of a restaurant called Slippery Pete’s. The restaurant did not exist.
In support of both PPP loan applications, Kirkpatrick filed fake IRS tax returns, court records show.
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In 2020, as COVID-19 shutdowns threatened businesses, the U.S. government began issuing nearly $800 billion in potentially forgivable PPP loans. The program was designed to help businesses keep workers on staff during the pandemic.
Prosecutors allege that Kirkpatrick spent most of his PPP loan proceeds on cash withdrawals, creditor payments, criminal gangs, insurance and cell phones.