HOUSTON – Texas bar owner accused of fraudulently receiving federal COVID-19 assistance.
Keith Anton Johnson, 44, is charged with one count of wire fraud, according to the Justice Department. The government said Johnson had secured $ 123,500 in Payroll Protection Program (P3) funds under the CARES Act.
According to the indictment, Johnson owned and operated KJR Entertainment Holdings LLC jointly with others from January 2020 through July 2020. KJR Entertainment also operates Southerns, a bar and concert venue in Bryan, TX.
Johnson reportedly submitted payroll information justifying the basis for a PPP loan. On those forms, he allegedly claimed that an employee worked for him, but in fact that employee resigned in January 2020, according to the charges.
The indictment also alleges Johnson was not eligible for COVID-19 assistance due to the pending indictment in a separate case.
If convicted, Johnson faces up to 20 years in prison and a possible maximum fine of $ 250,000, according to the DOJ.
The Harris County and FBI Constable’s Office investigated. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Carter is pursuing the case.
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