Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Hollywood Film Producer Charged with $1.7 Million COVID-Relief Fraud

5-26-2020 - Hollywood producer and founder of Aviron Pictures, William Sadleir, was charged in a federal criminal complaint with wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements to a financial institution, and false statements to the SBA, in relation to a $1.7 million Covid-19 Relief fraud.

“This defendant allegedly used Paycheck Protection Program loans to pay off his personal credit card debts and other personal expenses, rather than using the funds for legitimate business needs,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.  “As the department has made clear, those who defraud the PPP to line their own pockets at the expense of the American people will be brought to justice.”

According to court documents unsealed today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sadleir allegedly obtained over $1.7 million in forgivable loans guaranteed by the SBA by falsely representing that the funds would be used to support payroll expenses for three film production and distribution companies, when, in fact, Sadleir intended to use and did use a significant portion of the funds for personal and non-business-related expenses, including personal credit cards and a car loan.  Sadleir allegedly used three entities he controlled to obtain over $1.7 million in PPP loans guaranteed by the SBA for COVID-19 relief.  

The producer, William Sadleir, who was arrested, should not be confused with the actor by the same name.
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