HOLLYWOOD— A Hollywood man was arrested on Thursday, July 16 and charged with fraudulently requesting over $8.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

According to Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Nicola T. Hanna of the Central District of California, Andrew Marnell, 40, was charged with one count of bank fraud. Marnell allegedly obtained PPP loans through applications to insured financial institutions, and others, on behalf of different companies.

The complaint alleges that aside from fraudulent loan applications, Marnell is being accused of submitting fake and altered documents, including fake federal tax filings and employee payroll records. These loan applications are said to have been made by using false and fraudulent identifications that were aliases of Marnell. It is believed that Marnell transferred the fraudulently-obtained loan monies to his brokerage account to make stock-market bets and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars of the money obtained illegally, at a Las Vegas casino.  

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law which was enacted on March 29, 2020. It is meant to assist with emergency financial assistance to millions of those who are suffering the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Part of the relief can come in forgivable loans to small businesses to help them retain employees and much more. The money provided to small businesses is required to be used for such purposes and nothing else.