COVID-19News & Opinion

Charlotte Man Pleads Guilty in $1.2-Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Case

Man posed as disaster relief loan consultant

Charlotte city skyline from North Tryon street
A Charlotte business owner pleaded guilty to COVID relief fraud this week. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Charlotte business owner Glynn Paul Hubbard Jr. pleaded guilty Monday to fraudulently receiving $1.2 million in federal pandemic unemployment relief funds for himself and his customers, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of North Carolina press release.

The 46-year-old “disaster relief loan consultant” was charged with wire fraud and money laundering charges for transactions that took place between March 31 and Aug. 1, 2020.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Small Business Administration offered several financial aid programs for small businesses and organizations, including the Economic Injury Relief Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

EIDL was designed to support small businesses and organizations suffering “substantial economic injury” throughout a disaster, while the PPP provided the funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, benefits, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. 

According to the plea document, Hubbard submitted fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program loan applications for himself and other businesses he referred to as “customers,” falsifying the loan applications and additional documentation by including inaccurate financial information, fake employment data and fraudulent tax returns to receive money for his own businesses, listed in court documents as Borrow My Ride, Balanced Society Corporation, The Regins Corporation, and GGGAB, Inc. 

Of the $1.2 million in relief funds, Hubbard received more than $570,000 for himself while more than $660,000 was disbursed to his customers.

Court records showed Hubbard promoted the scheme through personal referrals and in social media posts posing as a PPP loan/EIDL consultant, receiving more than $150,000 in improper loan preparer fees.

He required customers to pay his consulting fees in cash, via cashier’s checks or wire transfers to avoid detection.

Hubbard is the latest in a slew of Charlotte-area residents convicted of COVID-19 relief fraud. 

Carolina Fish Market owner James Seidel’s May 2023 indictment for COVID-19 relief fraud stated that he applied for $200,000 in relief from EIDL and received $199,990 in his personal bank account.

Owners of La Shish Kabob, La Shish Kabob Catering, Green Apple Catering and Aroma Packaging Izzat Freitekh and Tarik Freitekh were convicted in federal court for money laundering and bank and wire fraud, senteneced to 48 months and 147 months in prison, respectively. The father-son duo were convicted of five charges related to fraudulent PPP funds worth $1.7 million. 

In October 2022, three individuals, including a fraud analyst, also pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to PPP funds in Charlotte. Tamakia Harris, Shavondra White and Cedric Benton were charged with wire fraud conspiracy.

Hubbard was released on bond following the plea hearing and now faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years for wire fraud and maximum statutory penalty of 10 years for money laundering. 

A sentencing date has not been set at the time of this writing.

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