Austin Hsu Pleads Guilty to COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme
(STL.News) A Washington man pleaded guilty to perpetrating a scheme to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 relief guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Nicholas L. McQuaid, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Brian T. Moran, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington; J. Russell George, Inspector General of the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA); Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration (SSA); Hannibal “Mike” Ware, Inspector General of the SBA, and Cardell Morant, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigation (HSI), made the announcement.
Austin Hsu, 46, of Issaquah, pleaded guilty to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle L. Peterson in the Western District of Washington. Sentencing has been scheduled for April 19, 2021, before U.S. District Court Judge James L. Robart.
As part of his guilty plea, Hsu admitted that he submitted nine fraudulent disaster loan applications seeking over $1.1 million.