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Home Cryptocurrency Va. businessman admits $7.6 million covid scam

Va. businessman admits $7.6 million covid scam


A Manassas, Va., business executive admitted Friday that he and others bilked more than $7.6 million from coronavirus relief programs and that he spent much of the money on home mortgage payments, tuition for his children, cars and cryptocurrency investments.

Bennie Earl Magee, 54, pleaded guilty in Alexandria federal court to wire fraud affecting a financial institution. An associate who described Magee as his mentor, Michael Gilcher, 45, of Bealeton, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge that he conspired to make false statements on loan applications, as well as wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Magee submitted falsified documents in loan applications that inflated revenue and claimed dozens of nonexistent employees on behalf of 17 businesses. The scam drained millions of dollars from the key coronavirus relief programs established by Congress during the height of the pandemic — nearly $6.8 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $854,000 from the Covid Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL), according to a statement of…

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