BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A Wenham business owner was charged Thursday in trying to fraudulently receive $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds through the Paycheck Protection Program by submitting false applications.
James Joseph Cohen, 59, was charged and has agreed to plead guilty to one count of bank fraud.
According to documents from the Department of Justice, Cohen allegedly submitted six false applications under the CARES Act in order to obtain pandemic-related relief funds for companies that he controlled.
These applications falsely misstated the revenues of these companies, the number of employees, or the amounts paid to those employees in the 12-month period preceding the application.
The charge of bank fraud provides up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
A plea hearing has been scheduled as of Thursday.