Michigan Man Sentenced for COVID-19 Relief Fraud

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MACOMB COUNTY, Mich. (NEXSTAR) — A Michigan man was sentenced Tuesday to 32 months in federal prison for fraudulently seeking nearly $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans.

Michael Bischoff, 60, of Macomb County, pleaded guilty to bank fraud on Nov. 23, 2020, in the Eastern District of Michigan. According to court documents, Bischoff, who owned multiple pizza restaurants in Macomb County, admitted to defrauding several financial institutions by submitting at least nine falsified PPP loan applications that included false representations about payroll, business expenses and the number of employees working at his restaurants.

To help secure the PPP loans, Bischoff also submitted multiple fabricated tax documents and fraudulently used another person’s personal identifying information.

In total, Bischoff fraudulently sought approximately $931,000 in COVID-19 relief funds and received approximately $593,590.

In addition to his prison sentence, Bischoff was ordered to serve three years of supervised release, and to pay $593,590 in restitution and a $5,000 fine.    

Since the PPP began, federal attorneys have prosecuted more than 100 defendants in more than 70 criminal cases. More than $65 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds have also been seized, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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