The former owner of a pizza parlor in Massachusetts has been accused of lying about the number of employees he had in an effort to fraudulently acquire what turned out to be $660,000+ in federal relief funds for COVID-19 through a Small Business Administration-approved lender, according to an announcement from prosecutors on Tuesday. He is then alleged to have used some of the money to purchase an alpaca farm in Vermont, plus some alpacas to stock the place.
NBC Boston reports that 57-year-old Dana McIntyre was arrested on Tuesday. He’s facing charges for money laundering and wire fraud. He was due to make a virtual appearance in a federal court on Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors claim that McIntyre was the owner of Rasta Pasta Pizzeria in April 2020 when he sought loans via the Paycheck Protection Program. They say that he falsified his official tax form and said his pizza place had close to 50 employees to try and get a bigger loan. It reportedly had less than 10. They further allege that he sold the pizza shop after getting the money, then used the money for the Vermont farm, upgraded it, and then got several alpacas. Other things he’s alleged to have purchased with the funds include two vehicles, and airtime on the weekly cryptocurrency-themed radio show he was the host of.
The crimes he’s been charged with carry serious penalties. NBC Boston writes that if he’s found guilty of both allegations he could get 40 years in prison and fines of up to $750,000.