GARNER, N.C. - A North Carolina man has been charged with fraudulently seeking over $6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and receiving more than $1.7 million in benefits for companies named after “Game of Thrones” characters, the U.S. Department of Justice reported.
Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, of Garner, North Carolina has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
The fraudulent businesses Pan sought out loans for were “Pan Insurance Agency,” “White Walker,” “Khaleesi,” and “The Night’s Watch,” according to the DOJ.
The Night King is shown in a scene from HBO's "Game of Thrones." (Photo credit: HBO)
An indictment unsealed on Tuesday alleged that Pan submitted numerous fraudulent PPP loan applications for the fake businesses to federally insured banks. According to the DOJ, Pan made false statements and provided falsified information regarding employees and payroll expenses for the companies.
Of the more than $6 million Pan applied for, he was able to secure a loan for $1.7 million in benefits for the the “Pan Insurance Agency” and “White Walker” PPP loan applications.
The money that Pan was seeking was from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a federal law enacted on March 29. Some of the funds from the act were intended to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who have been negatively impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In April, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding to businesses impacted by the ongoing pandemic.
In July, a Florida man was arrested for allegedly using coronavirus small business aid money to buy a Lamborghini sports car for himself.
A report from the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Small Business Administration published in late July detailed complaints of thousands of instances involving suspected fraud from financial institutions apparently receiving economic assistance from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act.
The report, titled “Serious Concerns of Potential Fraud in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Pertaining to the Response to COVID-19,” says that the SBA inspector general’s office received complaints of more than 5,000 instances in which suspected fraudulent activity has taken advantage of funds distributed from aid programs.