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A former Hollywood studio executive has been charged with pocketing additional than $1.7 million in coronavirus relief money and using the money to pay back off his credit rating card financial debt and other particular expenses, federal prosecutors mentioned Friday.

William Sadleir, 66, of Beverly Hills, Calif., the former chairman and main executive officer of Aviron Photographs, faces federal costs of wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements to a economical establishment, and generating false statements to the Compact Business Administration, the Justice Section stated.


The grievance, filed Thursday in the Central District of California, alleges Sadleir filed forgivable bank financial loan programs looking for additional than $1.7 million less than the Paycheck Security Plan. The federal plan was implemented to enable modest businesses stay afloat amid the COVID-19 disaster that has shattered the world-wide economic climate.

“This film producer allegedly designed a series of misrepresentations to a lender and the Small Company Administration to illegally safe taxpayer revenue that he then applied to fund his nearly vacant particular bank account,” U.S. Attorney Nick Hanna of the Central District of California claimed in a assertion.

Federal prosecutors alleged Sadleir submitted a few purposes to JP Morgan Chase for loans less than the PPP on behalf of Aviron entities. The applications had been submitted beneath the guise that the money would be employed to help payroll and other small business-relevant charges, prosecutors explained.

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Instead, Sadleir transferred some of the revenue to his personal bank account and utilized it to spend off $80,000 in personal credit card personal debt, a $40,000 auto mortgage and other bills, the grievance claimed.

“This defendant allegedly employed Paycheck Security Application financial loans to pay off his personal credit rating card money owed and other personalized costs, relatively than making use of the money for genuine small business needs,” mentioned Brian Benczkowski, assistant lawyer general of the DOJ’s Criminal Division.

The cash are element of the Coronavirus Support, Relief, and Financial Safety (CARES) Act, which was authorized in March to help Americans and tiny organizations suffering monetary hardship amid the pandemic. The $349 billion allotted was exhausted in much less than two months soon after the SBA authorized 1.7 million loans.

In April, an extra $300 billion in PPP funding was authorized by Congress.

“These resources were being intended to be a lifeline to enterprises struggling to remain afloat all through the existing crisis,” FBI Assistant Director in Cost Paul Delacourt said in a assertion.

“These money have been made to be a lifeline to enterprises struggling to remain afloat through the recent crisis.”

— Paul Delacourt, FBI 

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Sadleir left Aviron Photographs in January subsequent a lawsuit alleging impropriety in the company structure. Federal prosecutors mentioned they have been advised that he experienced no part in Aviron Images — a subsidiary –or relevant entities, according to Deadline.

A individual prison grievance against he alleged he defrauded buyers of $14 million to pay out for his Beverly Hills residence.

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