Franklin Man Pleads Guilty to Money-Laundeirng, Covid-19 Relief and Bank Fraud

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NASHVILLE – John Paul Dillon, 40, of Franklin, Tennessee pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court to fraud in connection with COVID-19 relief programs, mortgage fraud, and money laundering, announced United States Attorney Henry C. Leventis for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Dillon pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, one count of wire fraud, and one count of money-laundering related to fraudulent loan applications submitted in connection with the Payroll Protection Program (“PPP”) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. In support of federal loan applications, Dillon falsely claimed he and others earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in income from a “ride-share business” and also falsely claimed Dillon operated a company which paid over $500,000 in wages to employees.

In addition to the pandemic-related charges, Dillon pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud stemming from a fraudulent loan application he submitted to finance a $470,000 mortgage. Among other things, Dillon submitted a falsified bank statement in support of this loan application.

Dillon obtained almost $1,000,000 through his fraud. In addition to agreeing to the entry of money judgments against him, Dillon has agreed to forfeit his residence, two late-model automobiles, and a pontoon boat.

Dillon’s sentencing has been set for March 4, 2024. He faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $1,000,000 on each of the bank fraud counts; up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 on the wire fraud count; and up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 on the money-laundering count.

This case was investigated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General; the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General; and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Taylor J. Phillips is prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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