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Man who got $850,000 in Covid relief funds to support employees he didn't actually have used the money to buy a house, a Rolls Royce and French bulldogs, feds charge

A South Easton man who obtained an $836,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020 based on a claim his used-car dealership had 40 employees actually had only 3 or 4 workers including himself, so he was able to use the money to buy and move to a new house and buy a Rolls Royce and some French bulldogs - which left him enough to pay up to a 20% kickback to three Florida "recruiters" who got him involved in the scam, the US Attorney's office charges.

Bill Dessaps, formerly of Bridgewater but more recently of South Eaton, was arrested yesterday on federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit unlawful monetary transactions - money laundering. He was released on $10,000 bail and faces a probable-cause hearing on Feb. 16, court records show.

Dessaps is the latest Massachusetts resident charged with defrauding two federal programs aimed at helping employers keep workers on through loans that could be converted to grants on proof that the workers were, in fact, still employed.

According to an affidavit by an FBI agent on the case, Dessaps convinced family members and friends to accept "payroll" checks from him, copies of which he then submitted as proof he was keeping people employed. In fact, the affidavit states, the people who got the checks then repaid him. Dessaps also made up payroll tax forms as part of his submission to Kabbage, a California lender that was active in the Paycheck Protection Program, and which transferred $836,000 to him on June 5, 2020 after he filed an application claiming 40 employees and total monthly payroll expenses of $334,720.

Even if he had not allegedly made up employee numbers for that loan, he should not have gotten it because companies were limited to one PPP payout that year, and he had already gotten a much smaller PPP loan of $12,450 a month earlier from Eastern Bank, based on an application in which he claimed four employees and a monthly payroll of just $15,000.

According to the affidavit, Dessaps used part of the money to buy house in South Easton - under his sister's name. Registry of Deeds records show the house was sold on Oct. 23, 2020 for $750,000 - with a $510,000 mortgage. In November, Dessaps paid $133,000 for a 2014 Rolls Royce Wraith, the affidavit continues. The FBI agent writes:

On or about October 20, 2022, I observed the Rolls Royce on the driveway at the Subject Premises [the South Easton house].

And between October, 2020 and January, 2021, he paid a West Virginia breeder a total of $32,000 for an unspecified number of French bulldogs.

The agent says the funds for the purchases all came after Dessaps obtained the PPP loan, when he was supposed to be using the money for the employees he did not actually have.

The affidavit does not detail the operations or names of the three "recruiters" in Florida with whom Dessaps is charged with conspiring, other than to say they required kickbacks of up to 20% for their work in getting PPP applications.

However, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports Dessaps was one of seven people in Massachusetts, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee charged in the conspiracy, which prosecutors say sucked a total of $7.5 million out of the federal programs.

Dessaps and the others face a maximum potential sentence of 20 years on the wire-fraud conspiracy charge and up to 10 years on the charge of committing unlawful monetary transactions.

Innocent, etc.

Disclaimer: I also got a PPP loan/grant from Kabbage, but for a much smaller amount that I did not use to buy a new house, a Rolls Royce or French bulldogs, but which helped me get through the collapse of the online ad market in March and April of 2020.

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This never would have happened in old Southie.

Voting closed 7

Whitey kept the Paycheck Protection Program out of Southie.

Voting closed 8