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Bergen County Man Admits to Fraudulently Obtaining EIDL, Laundering Funds

Bergen County

By: Richard L. Smith 

According to a statement released by the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, a man from Bergen County, New Jersey, has admitted to fraudulently securing an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and laundering the proceeds.AdU.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said on Friday that George Leguen, 51, of Paramus, pleaded guilty on June 12, 2024, before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo in Newark federal court.

He was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Court documents and statements reveal that from August 2020 through January 2021, Leguen was involved in a scheme to unlawfully obtain COVID-19 emergency relief funds designated for distressed small businesses under the EIDL program.

Leguen submitted fraudulent information to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on behalf of a business he owned and controlled.AdThe false details included the number of employees, annual gross revenue figures, and fraudulent federal tax returns. He received $149,900 in EIDL funds, which he then diverted for personal use.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the defendant's gross gain or the victim's gross loss, whichever is greater.

The money laundering charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the laundered funds, whichever is greater.

Sentencing is scheduled for December 19, 2024.