Brooklyn Man Defrauds PPP of $2M, Pockets Money for Bentley Purchase, Feds Say

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A Brooklyn man was arrested Monday on charges of defrauding the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of almost $2 million.

Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn charged Leon Miles, 51, of using the money to purchase a 2020 Bentley Continental for $250,000 and a 2020 Cadillac Escalade for $100,000.

The PPP is part of the CARES Act passed by Congress in March to provide emergency financial assistance to be used by owners of small businesses. The program provides forgivable loans to business owners for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.

Miles is accused of submitting an application for $1,904,593 in May on behalf of a limited liability company he owns in Brooklyn. He falsely claimed the company had 50 employees and an average monthly payroll of $761,838, court papers say.

To support his claim, Miles filed phony personal and business tax forms that were never filed with the IRS and he reported no taxable income to the IRS and no wages paid to employees during the relevant period.

Within days of the funds being deposited in his personal savings account, Miles withdrew hundreds of thousands of dollars, some of which he used to buy the vehicles, court papers say.

"At a time when so many are suffering from the devastating economic efforts of the ongoing pandemic, Miles allegedly enriched himself at the taxpayers' expense, stealing funds that were intended by Congress to keep businesses afloat and workers on payroll," said Acting U.S. Attorney Seth D. DuCharme.

Miles was scheduled to appear in federal court in Brooklyn Monday.

When contacted Monday afternoon, Miles's defense attorney, Michael Schneider, had not comment.



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