BEVERLY HILLS—Beverly Grove resident, Andrew Marnell, 40, was held without bond on Thursday, July 16 after being arrested on federal charges. Marnell fraudulently embezzled millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) using loan assistance funds that he received for gambling excursions in Las Vegas.
The defendant was charged with one count of bank fraud. Marnell alleges that he obtained more than $8 million in PPP loan assistance through applications to insured financial institutions and others on behalf of different companies. He received approximately $9 million in fraudulent loans. The affidavit filed in support of the complaint charging Marnell alleges that he submitted fraudulent loan applications that made numerous false and misleading statements about the companies’ business operations and payroll expenses.
The affidavit also alleges that Marnell, often using aliases, submitted fake and altered documents including bogus federal tax filings and employee payroll records. The complaint further alleges that Marnell transferred millions of dollars from the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds to his brokerage accounts to make stock market bids. The affidavit also outlines how the defendant spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in fraudulently obtained loan proceeds at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino and other gambling establishments as recently as early July 2020.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act is the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP. In April, Congress authorized more than $300 billion in additional PPP funding.
The bank fraud count alleged in the complaint against Marnell carries a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison.