5 Years Prison, $2.5M Restitution For Las Vegas Covid Fraud

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas man has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay more than $2.5 million in restitution for bilking the government out of millions of dollars in federal loans and COVID-relief funds during the pandemic two years ago.

Federal prosecutors say Jorge Abramovs, 40, participated in a scheme to defraud multiple financial institutions out of more than $1.9 million in loans and collecting more than $350,000 from employees as income then never paid the taxes due.

He spent the money on purchases for himself, including luxury condominiums, a Bentley and a Tesla passenger vehicle, prosecutors said.

Abramovs pleaded guilty earlier to multiple counts of bank fraud. Judge Richard Boulware II sentenced him last week in U.S. District Court in Las Vegas.

He was ordered to pay the restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration, which had made the fraudulently obtained loans available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

“The defendant defrauded a government program meant to help those in need while lining his own pockets and skirting his tax obligations,” said IRS CI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Carissa Messick. “His failure to pay over the withheld taxes is a violation that IRS Criminal Investigation takes very seriously. Mr. Abramovs is being held accountable for his crimes.”