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Maine man sentenced in $322K pandemic loan fraud case

Craig C. Franck was sentenced Wednesday for fraudulently receiving $322,460 in pandemic relief funds, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine.

BANGOR, Maine — A Levant man was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Bangor for wire fraud and money laundering Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) funds.

Craig C. Franck, 40, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Lance E. Walker to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release, according to a release Wednesday from the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Maine. Franck pleaded guilty on Aug. 16, 2022.

Court records show Franck formerly owned CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems. according to Wednesday's release. The two companies reportedly were not in business and did not generate income or have employees in 2020 or 2021, the release states. 

During that same time frame, Franck also received unemployment benefits. He was arrested in Florida on felony charges in July 2020, according to the release.

"In the summer of 2020, Franck received $177,400 in EIDL funds after submitting two fraudulent loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration," the release said. "In the applications, Franck made numerous false representations regarding CCF Acoustics LLC and CCF Acoustical Systems, misrepresented that the funds would be used to alleviate economic injury caused by the pandemic, and claimed that he was not subject to criminal charges."

Franck reportedly used the EIDL funds to "retain a criminal defense attorney and post bail in his Florida criminal case," the release said. The funds were also used to buy a pickup truck and pay for "other personal expenses."

Franck then received a PPP loan of $145,060 in March 2021 after he submitted a fraudulent loan application to a private lender, Wednesday's release states.

"In support of the application, Franck provided false IRS documents and forged checking account statements," the release said. "Franck illegally spent the PPP funds on a second vehicle, online retail purchases, and living expenses, among other prohibited uses."

The judge said Wednesday that Franck engaged in a cynical scheme amounting to “high-tech pocket picking," and that he had displayed “an extraordinary amount of narcissism” in carrying out the pandemic fraud, according to the release.

The investigation into the case was done by Homeland Security Investigations.

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