Man gambles US$9m from Covid-19 relief funds

A California man allegedly used money from the Paycheck Protection Program to gamble.
A California man allegedly used money from the Paycheck Protection Program to gamble.

A man from California has been caught gambling in Las Vegas with the money obtained from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.

US.- A man has been charged for allegedly gambling with close to US$9 million obtained fraudulently through a US government Covid-19 relief programme.

Andrew Marnell, 40, from California, is facing charges of bank fraud. He is accused of having submitted multiple fraudulent applications to the US federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – a programme created by the government under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March to help ease the economic impact of the pandemic.

The programme is intended to allow small businesses to receive a loan from the federal government to keep employees on the payroll.

But Marnell allegedly obtained PPP funds under various company names and then used the money to make “risky stock market trades” and to gamble in Las Vegas, prosecutors say.

Officials told the press the man had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars at the Bellagio and other Strip casinos.

Trial Attorney Scott Armstrong and assistant US Attorney Kerry Quinn of the Central District of California are now prosecuting the case.

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