PPP fraud charges brought against CEOs, celebrities in Georgia

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Charges were recently brought against several celebrities, entertainers and business leaders in Georgia for allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program for a total of more than $3 million.

In all, 19 people were indicted, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Among those indicted were actress Ion Overman, actor Dale Godboldo, Carlos "Clos" Stephens, a music producer and consultant and media personality Marvin Lewton, according to the paper.

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Seven separate indictments for fraudulent loan applications were linked to a single Atlanta-based business consultant.

The consultant was paid a "success fee" for each loan as it was awarded, according to the report.

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Mark Mason Jr., of Atlanta, was charged independently, but also named in the six other lawsuits as an "unindicted co-conspirator," according to court documents obtained by the Journal-Constitution.

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According to documents, Mason is accused of submitting fraudulent PPP loan applications for two of his own businesses and receiving a total of nearly $600,000.

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He was also charged with assisting those defendants in submitting applications based on false information. Mason would be paid a "success fee" of between 2-5% if the loans were awarded, according to documents.

The PPP was established in 2020 under the CARES Act to help businesses continue to pay employees during coronavirus restrictions.

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