Coronavirus help: man arrested in California for fraud


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AFP / US Department of Justice

The Department of Justice released a photo that would show Andrew Marnell at a blackjack table

A Californian man was arrested on allegations that he had fraudulently obtained at least $ 8 million in aid for coronaviruses and used part of the money to gamble.

Andrew Marnell, 40, is accused of submitting false loan applications on behalf of several companies to obtain funds from the paycheck protection program.

Prosecutors in Los Angeles allege that he spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in Las Vegas casinos.

He also allegedly used the funds to make high-risk stock bets.

Mr. Marnell faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of bank fraud.

The Paycheck Protection Program is a federal program designed to help small businesses and prevent layoffs during the pandemic. It provided more than half a trillion dollars, but has proven controversial.

Some analysts said he was vulnerable to fraud and that much of the money went to larger companies that did not need help.

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