ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Joe Slaiby, of Gainesville, agreed to pay $350,000 to settle a civil fraud case that alleged he falsified payroll and income documents to obtain loans through the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for four businesses where he is the owner and President.
The PPP offered loans to eligible small businesses for economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. PPP borrowers were required to provide their income and supporting documents to qualify for the loan amount.
Slaiby obtained seven PPP loans for his four businesses, Black Hat Transportation LLC, Green Team Limousine d.b.a. Choice Limousine & Sedan Services LLC, Health N Wealth World LLC, and Slaiby7 Investments LLC, by submitting loan applications with inflated income and fabricated payroll documents to SBA-authorized lenders. Based on these fraudulent applications, Slaiby and his corporations, with the help of co-conspirator Bennie E. Magee, obtained PPP funds.
The settlement arises in connection with a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the FCA, United States ex rel. Salman v. Bull Run Capital Investments, Inc., et al. A whistleblower suit, or qui tam action under the False Claims Act, is commenced by an individual, known as a “relator,” filing a complaint under seal in the U.S. District Court, and providing a copy of the complaint and evidence to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The United States then has an opportunity to investigate the claims. The False Claims Act provides whistleblowers with a share of the government’s recovery. The relator here will receive a share of this settlement.
The resolutions obtained in this matter were the result of a coordinated effort between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Fraud Task Force, and the FBI’s Washington Field Office Criminal and Cyber Division.
The matter was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristin Starr. The civil claims settled by this False Claims Act agreement are allegations only; there has been no determination of civil liability.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit can be accessed on PACER by searching for No. 1:21-cv-852. The criminal case against Bennie E. Magee can be accessed on PACER by searching for No. 1:23-cr-91.
Source: U.S. Attorney's Office press release