Dana L. McIntyre, a former pizzeria owner, has been sentenced to two years in prison along with three years of supervised release for his involvement in a scheme that defrauded the federal government’s pandemic relief fund of over $660,000. The sentencing was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.
The former owner of a Boston-area pizzeria who received more than $660,000 in pandemic relief used the majority of the money to buy a Vermont farm, eight alpacas, a truck and a vintage car. He was sentenced to two years in prison and fined nearly $680,000. https://t.co/1OfEMypyS8
— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 31, 2023
McIntyre, who had pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering in April, has also been ordered to make restitution totaling nearly $680,000. The scheme involved submitting fraudulent applications and obtaining funds from various relief programs intended to assist businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March 2020, McIntyre used his adult children’s identities to submit fabricated loan applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on behalf of fictitious businesses.
Despite these businesses not existing, he managed to secure funds from the government.
Furthermore, the following month, he began claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits, even though he continued to operate his restaurant and earn income from it.
The fraudulent activities extended to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as well, where McIntyre submitted false information in his loan application.
This included inflating his pizzeria’s payroll expenses and falsely stating the number of employees working at his establishment.
He successfully obtained over $660,000 in PPP funds through a lending institution. Shockingly, instead of using these funds to aid his struggling business, McIntyre sold his restaurant and allocated the money to personal expenses.
Notable expenditures included the purchase of a farm in Vermont, two vehicles, eight alpacas, and construction on a brand new home. It was also revealed that McIntyre channeled a portion of the money into his self-titled cryptocurrency-themed radio show, “The Dana Crypto Show.”
Acting U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Joshua S. Levy, stressed the gravity of McIntyre’s actions, emphasizing “This was no momentary lapse in the fog of the pandemic. He stole from the American taxpayers and the many small businesses which truly needed those loans to survive.”
Sadly, McIntyre’s case is one among thousands of COVID-19-related fraud instances that have been pursued by authorities across the nation. To date, more than 3,100 individuals have faced charges related to fraudulent activities linked to pandemic relief funds.