Federal agencies have distributed most of the pandemic funding through grants, direct payments, and loans. However, the agencies have also signed contracts to buy goods and services related to the pandemic.
SAN DIEGO – Thomas Zolezzi of San Diego pleaded guilty in federal court today, admitting that he committed fraud to obtain almost $3 million intended to help those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In his plea agreement, Zolezzi admitted he submitted five loan applications containing false statements to trick lenders into providing the relief funds. He used the borrowed funds to pay his personal expenses. As part of his guilty plea, Zolezzi agreed to pay restitution of $700,884.75 to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and $2,238,910.24 to Capital Plus Financial.
Gulfport, Miss. – A Kiln, Mississippi man pled guilty to wire fraud related to the COVID pandemic.