Mass. business owner gets three years in prison for attempted $13M COVID relief scam

The Massachusetts-based owner of a tech startup has been sentenced to more than three years in prison for filing fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $13 million from various COVID relief programs.

Elijah Buoi, 40, of Winchester, was convicted in february of four counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution.

Federal prosecutors say Buoi submitted six fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications on behalf of his company, Sosuda Tech, LLC, to four different Small Business Administration-approved lenders. In each application, Buoi misrepresented the number of employees and payroll expenses he had, when in reality his company had no U.S.-based payroll or U.S.-based employees, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Prosecutors say Buoi submitted fraudulent IRS tax forms in support of his applications, ultimately receiving a $2 million PPP loan. The government was able to recover approximately $1.97 million of those funds.

As part of his sentence, Buoi must pay restitution of $2 million and forfeit $2 million.

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