El Sobrante man charged with lying to obtain COVID relief funds

El Sobrante man charged with fraudulently obtaining COVID relief funds
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An El Sobrante man is charged with fraudulently obtaining $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief funds and using the funds for personal expenses and to pay off debt, U.S. Attorney Ismail J. Ramsey announced last week.

Lane Jenkins, 53, claimed to operate a house flipping company in El Sobrante that employed dozens of people when he applied for two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in early 2021, according to a federal grand jury indictment returned last week.

Jenkins was president of A&L Investments LLC (A&L), which in fact had zero employees, but he went ahead and certified that he used the PPP funds to pay employees that didn’t exist, Ramsey said.

The indictment further states Jenkins fraudulently obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for nearly $95,000 in July 2020 for a maid and cleaning service he claimed he operated. He falsely claimed to employee 10 people with gross revenues of $241,353. In fact, the maid and cleaning service had no employees or revenues. Again, the money was used to enrich himself, the indictment alleges.

The PPP provivded forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other qualified businesses expenses, while the EIDL program provided low-interest financing to small businesses, renters and homeowners in regions affected by declared disasters. Both were administerd by the Small Business Administration.

Jenkins faces three counts of wire fraud and one count of submitting false writings to a government agency. He has not yet appeared in court on the charges.