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A former Hollywood studio government has been charged with pocketing greater than $1.7 million in coronavirus aid funds and utilizing the cash to repay his bank card debt and different private bills, federal prosecutors stated Friday.

William Sadleir, 66, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the previous chairman and chief government officer of Aviron Photos, faces federal expenses of wire fraud, financial institution fraud, making false statements to a monetary establishment, and making false statements to the Small Enterprise Administration, the Justice Division stated.

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The grievance, filed Thursday within the Central District of California, alleges Sadleir filed forgivable financial institution mortgage functions looking for greater than $1.7 million below the Paycheck Safety Program. The federal program was applied to assist small companies keep afloat amid the COVID-19 disaster that has shattered the worldwide financial system.

“This movie producer allegedly made a collection of misrepresentations to a financial institution and the Small Enterprise Administration to illegally safe taxpayer cash that he then used to fund his almost empty private checking account,” U.S. Lawyer Nick Hanna of the Central District of California stated in a press release.

Federal prosecutors alleged Sadleir submitted three functions to JP Morgan Chase for loans below the PPP on behalf of Aviron entities. The functions have been filed below the guise that the funds could be used to help payroll and different business-related bills, prosecutors stated.

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As a substitute, Sadleir transferred among the cash to his private checking account and used it to repay $80,000 in private bank card debt, a $40,000 automotive mortgage and different bills, the grievance stated.

“This defendant allegedly used Paycheck Safety Program loans to repay his private bank card money owed and different private bills, relatively than utilizing the funds for official enterprise wants,” stated Brian Benczkowski, assistant legal professional normal of the DOJ’s Prison Division.

The funds are a part of the Coronavirus Support, Reduction, and Financial Safety (CARES) Act, which was accepted in March to assist People and small companies struggling monetary hardship amid the pandemic. The $349 billion allotted was exhausted in lower than two weeks after the SBA accepted 1.7 million loans.

In April, a further $300 billion in PPP funding was accepted by Congress.

“These funds have been designed to be a lifeline to companies struggling to remain afloat in the course of the present disaster,” FBI Assistant Director in Cost Paul Delacourt stated in a press release.

“These funds have been designed to be a lifeline to companies struggling to remain afloat in the course of the present disaster.”

— Paul Delacourt, FBI 

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Sadleir left Aviron Photos in January following a lawsuit alleging impropriety within the firm construction. Federal prosecutors stated they have been instructed that he had no function in Aviron Photos — a subsidiary –or associated entities, in line with Deadline.

A separate felony grievance in opposition to he alleged he defrauded buyers of $14 million to pay for his Beverly Hills residence.