New Hampshire businessman charged with bilking government of PPP funds

·1 min read

Jun. 30—A Northwood resident has been formally charged with bilking the federal government out of more than $680,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and other loans the federal government established to keep the economy afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic, federal prosecutors announced.

A federal grand jury returned charges of bank fraud, wire fraud and attempted wire fraud against Joshua Leavitt, 40, according to Jane Young, the U.S. Attorney for New Hampshire.

Also charged was Pierre Rogers, 43, of Irvine, Calif.

On his LinkedIn page, Leavitt lists himself as a "start up guy" and chief financial officer of Yahyn. The Yahyn website features wines for sale and lists its physical address as 25 Sundial Ave., a converted mill building in Manchester.

The telephone number listed for Yahyn was out of order, and an email sent to Leavitt through another website — the cigar-vending website PuroTrader — was not returned.

According to indictments, Leavitt and Rogers applied for approximately $2 million in PPP loans and another $3 million through the Small Business Administration's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.

Prosecutors allege they submitted false documents and fabricated tax documents that inflated the size of their payroll. The indictments charge them with receiving $683,000 in loans fraudulently and attempting to obtain another $756,000 in bogus loans.

Rogers allegedly used $107,800 in loan proceeds to purchase a Rolls-Royce.

Other companies involved in the alleged fraud include Dark Matters Associates, Demeter project, Monticello Transnational, Puro Lounge, Puro Group and Sunju. All had addresses or operations in New Hampshire.

An email left for the federal public defender assigned to Leavitt was not immediately returned.