Northridge man pleads guilty to taking $ 655,000 in COVID-19 fraud – Daily News

A Northridge man pleaded guilty Monday, Dec. 7 to a federal fraud charge for obtaining $ 655,000 in paycheck protection program loans by submitting false tax documents and false employee information.

Steven R. Goldstein, 36, of Northridge, pleaded guilty via a Zoom hearing in relation to benefits, the U.S. prosecutor’s office said.

Goldstein admitted to fraudulently obtaining $ 655,000 in PPP loans, according to his plea agreement. His conviction is scheduled for March 30, when he faces up to 30 years in prison.

Goldstein’s business partner Raymond Magana, 39, of Santa Clarita, was also accused in October of fraudulently obtaining PPP loans.

Prosecutors say Goldstein applied for four different PPP loans from Bank of America totaling more than $ 1.2 million on behalf of various companies while using false tax documents and false employee information.

Two of those loans were ultimately approved and Goldstein’s companies received $ 655,000 in PPP loan funds, court records show.

On the same day the funds were issued to Goldstein’s businesses, he transferred more than half of the money to his personal bank accounts, prosecutors said.

In total, Goldstein and Magana have applied for at least five separate PPP business loans totaling more than $ 2.5 million from various banks, according to court documents.

The PPP Loan Program was launched at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and designed to allow business owners to keep workers on their payroll.

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Perry Perrie

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