The former owner of a Massachusetts pizzeria is accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $600,000 in stimulus loans and using some of the money to buy an alpaca farm.
The man, Dana L. McIntyre, 57, was arrested Tuesday and charged in a criminal complaint with one count each of wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts.
McIntyre, of Grafton, Vermont, is alleged to have submitted a fraudulent application in April 2020 for the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which was created to help small businesses struggling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities said McIntyre owned Rasta Pasta Pizzeria in Beverly, Massachusetts, when he falsely claimed on his loan application that he employed nearly 50 people. He actually had fewer than 10 workers, authorities said.
After he got the loan, he closed the restaurant and used nearly all of the money “for personal expenses, including to purchase and upgrade a farm in Vermont as well as to buy several alpacas,” the U.S. attorney’s office alleged in a statement.
McIntyre also bought two vehicles and “weekly airtime for a cryptocurrency-themed radio show,” prosecutors alleged.
Jason M. Stelmack, an attorney for McIntyre, said in a statement Wednesday, “He denies the allegation and will comment on the case at a later date.”
A person who answered the phone at a number listed for McIntyre said he had no comment.
McIntyre faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge if convicted. Online court records show that he was released on bond.
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