An Atlantic County man last week admitted to laundering his ill-gotten gains through fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans.
On June 2, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Philip Sellinger announced that 41-year-old Jeremy Earley, of Egg Harbor Township, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court to a charge of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.
Prosecutors say that in 2020 and 2021, two companies owned by Earley received loans totaling more than $1.3 million from the PPP that were approved based on fraudulent applications submitted by conspirator Rhonda Thomas.
“Stating the companies had dozens of employees and monthly payrolls of $145,000 and $382,400, respectively,” according to court documents and statements released by prosecutors. “The application also contained forged tax forms. In fact, Earley’s businesses had no employees other than himself and paid minimal to no wages. After receiving the PPP loan proceeds, Earley wrote checks totaling nearly $400,000 to Thomas to compensate her for her role in submitting the fraudulent loan applications.”
Thomas previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and money laundering and was sentenced to five years in prison.
Earley is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 13, 2023. The charge he pled guilty to carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.