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Fri May 22, 2020, 09:13 PM

Issaquah man charged in federal court with COVID relief fraud

SEATTLE - An Issaquah man was charged Friday with filing fraudulent bank loan applications seeking more than $1.5 million in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the CARES Act.

Baoke Zhang, 35, a software engineer, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court with wire fraud and bank fraud.

“The defendant allegedly submitted false documents in a brazen scheme to acquire over $1.5 million in loan funds made available for legitimate businesses adversely affected by COVID-19,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the U.S. Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“This defendant tried more than once to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program – a program designed to keep people working,” said U.S. Attorney Brian T. Moran for the Western District of Washington. “I am pleased that the systems designed to detect and deny fraudulent payments caught his scheme before federal funds went out the door.”


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