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Man who spent several years in prison for bank fraud charged with lying to get government pandemic funds

A Salisbury man faces charges he listed investors - one a 95-year-old Dedham man - in two companies he owns as employees so he could get federal pandemic loans last year that he then used to pay personal expenses rather than to support the employees he did not actually employ.

James Joseph Cohen was arrested today on a federal charge of bank fraud, according to records in US District Court in Boston.

The charge comes a decade after Cohen, then known as Jamie Edelkind, was released from a federal prison, where he served a five-year sentence for bank fraud related to a series of mortgages he took out on the "Honey Fitz" mansion in Hull, once owned by JFK's grandfather and still containing marks showing the growth of the boy who would one day become president.

According to an affidavit by an FBI agent in the current case, Cohen submitted a series of false claims to the SBA and the federal Paycheck Protection Program last year to win nearly $1.2 million in SBA and PPP funds, based on applications that claimed each company had yearly earnings of more than $2 million and that one of the companies was paying its president $225,000 a year. One of the companies, Ceromaze, claims to use "bleeding edge microwave photonic devices, and a technical model of cued encephalon monitoring and enervation" as treatments for a variety of brain-related issues, including "addiction, OCD, PTSD, hypersexuality, hostility and organically originated deviancy manifest as paranoia and hallucinations."

In fact, the affidavit states, neither company had any revenues in the preceding year and the alleged president was the Dedham senior citizen, who told the FBI that he was an investor in the company, but not an employee, let alone the president. The agent adds that another alleged employee, with a supposed salary of $74,280.58, also denied working for the company. The affidavit adds:

COHEN falsely stated that CEROMAZE had an average monthly payroll for 2019 of $137,574 and that the company had 11 employees. In fact, CEROMAZE was not even incorporated until September 4, 2019, and its bank records reflect no salary paid to employees before April 2020. ...

COHEN claimed that he paid purported employees - PE’s 8, 9, and 11 - a total of approximately $194,017 in compensation, when payroll records, bank records, and COHEN’s own statement below demonstrate that PE’s 8, 9, and 11 were not CEROMAZE employees during that time period.

Innocent, etc.

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PDF icon Complete FBI affidavit382.86 KB

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Comments

Some guys have all the luck.

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Voting closed 6

How did you get federal funding with no employees.

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Voting closed 5

Me. Small workstaff, commensurately small loan, but it helped.

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Voting closed 11