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Father, son face charges over alleged $8M Covid relief loan fraud involving ministry
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A father and son have been indicted on multiple charges for allegedly fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars of COVID-19 relief money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida announced Thursday.
In the indictment, prosecutors accused 64-year-old Evan Edwards and his son Joshua, 30, of including "materially false and fraudulent" representations and supporting documentation in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application they submitted for Aslan International Ministry Inc. They allegedly ended up fraudulently obtaining over $8.4 million from the Small Business Administration (SBA) in PPP loan money, which has since been recovered by authorities, according to the U.S. attorney’s office’s release.
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The indictment alleged they falsely claimed in the loan application that they had over $2.7 million in average monthly payroll costs and over 480 workers at the ministry when both of those were actually "significantly lower, or entirely nonexistent." The father-son pair also purportedly provided "false and fabricated" Internal Revenue Service forms containing misrepresentations about payroll, employee headcounts and annual revenue.