Detroit man pleads guilty in $590,000 coronavirus fraud scheme

©Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — A Detroit man has pleaded guilty for his role in weaving a $590,000 coronavirus fraud scheme, according to a release from the Department of Justice.

Darrell Baker, 56, pleaded guilty to counts of bank fraud and money laundering Friday after intentionally attempting to defraud a Pennsylvania bank under the guise of a loan under the Payroll Protection Program, which was established to help small businesses weather the pandemic.

Baker was approved for a $590,000 loan for his company, “Motorcity Solar Energy, Inc.,” through Customers Bank in Pennsylvania. In his application documents, Baker claimed the business employed 68 workers and had $2.8 million in wages, tips and other compensation in 2019, according to the release.

An investigation by the FBI and the Small Business Administration found that Motorcity Solar Energy was not an operational business and as such had no employees or payroll expenses.

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©2020 Detroit Free Press