Pair of Northern Virginia men plead guilty to $7 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme

A pair of Northern Virginia men pleaded guilty Friday to a $7 million COVID-19 relief fund fraud scheme.

From April 2020 to March 2021, Ben Magee, 54, of Manassas, Virginia, created false payrolls and fake tax returns for his businesses, as well as falsified revenue reports submitted to lenders and the Small Business Administration.

Magee used the false records to get $7 million in Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster loans for both himself and others. Michael Gilcher, 45, of Bealeton, Virginia, was one of these beneficiaries.

Gilcher, an employee of Magee’s at Infinity Solutions, received $1.4 million, but then wrote checks worth $620,000 back to another Magee-controlled company, Bull Run Capital Investments.

Using the PPP funds, Magee paid for personal expenses, home repairs, cars, and cryptocurrency investments.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia did not specify which charges each man faced, but noted that Magee faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, while Gilcher faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

The pair are scheduled to each be sentenced on Aug. 25.

For more information, visit The Washington Times COVID-19 resource page.

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