A Dallas-area tax consultant pleaded guilty Tuesday to engaging in monetary transactions using money secured through falsified Paycheck Protection Program loan applications.
Steven Jalloul, 43, admitted to submitting around 170 loan applications to lenders, seeking over $23 million on behalf of about 160 clients of his tax preparation business, Royalty Tax & Financial Services LLC., acting U.S. Attorney Chad Meacham said in a statement.
Jalloul admitted to increasing his clients’ employee rosters and monthly payroll expenses in order to increase the amount of eligible PPP funds for their businesses, then charged them a 2 to 20% commission on loans received, Meacham said.
Out of the 170 falsified loan applications, 97 were approved that granted over $12 million to Jalloul’s clients, who then paid him $972,114 in fees, Meacham said.
“The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to help hard-working businesspeople keep their companies afloat during the pandemic — not to line the pockets of unscrupulous accountants,” he said. “The Justice Department will prosecute anyone who attempts to exploit pandemic-era financial programs. There are countless businesses ravaged by COVID-19 that deserved this money; [Jalloul] did not.”
Jalloul faces up to 10 years in federal prison for the PPP loan fraud. A sentencing date has not been set for him as of Tuesday evening. Meacham said Jalloul was previously sentenced to six years in federal prison for a separate tax fraud case he pleaded guilty to in January 2020.