Ky. Man pleads guilty of fraud and takes out $ 1.3 million COVID relief loan

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LEXINGTON, Kentucky (WKYT) – A Versailles man pleaded guilty Thursday to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans on false pretenses.

According to his informed consent form in April 2020, Randall “Rocky” Blankenship, Jr., 49, filed four fraudulent applications for PPP loans for four different businesses he founded.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the eastern borough of Kentucky said As part of his fraudulent PPP loan applications, Blankenship, with the assistance of an auditor, prepared forged tax documents and payroll stating that his companies had hundreds of thousands of dollars in quarterly payroll. However, none of the companies had labor costs at all.

Blankenship filed the applications through Kentucky Bank and Independence Bank; As a result, he received fraudulent PPP loans totaling $ 1,323,829.

The US prosecutor said in his plea that he had used some of the funds for his own RV business as well as for personal use, including paying casino debts and buying real estate.

Blankenship is due to be sentenced on March 17, 2022.

Blankenship agreed to a refund of $ 1,323,829. He faces a maximum of twenty years in prison, a fine of no more than $ 250,000, and a supervised release of no more than three years.

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