Idaho Springs Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering


Date: July 14, 2023


DENVER — The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado announces that Edward Baker Harrington of Idaho Springs, was sentenced to 51 months in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. Harrington was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,078,033.50.

According to the plea agreement, from April 2020 through September 2021, the defendant submitted a number of fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications to seven banks and one lender on behalf of business entities that he purportedly controlled. These PPP applications contained a number of false and fraudulent certifications and representations. The defendant obtained more than $1,000,000 in PPP loans as a result of the scheme. He falsely represented that all PPP funds would be used to pay eligible business expenses, when, in fact, the proceeds were used for his personal benefit to purchase goods and property, including real estate and vehicles. The defendant submitted PPP loan forgiveness applications in which he made more false representations and certifications regarding his businesses and his compliance with the PPP program rules, including rules related to the eligible uses of PPP loan proceeds.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted in March 2020 and was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans dealing with the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act created PPP, a program administered by the Small Business Administration that provided loans to small businesses to retain workers, maintain payroll, and certain other expenses consistent with PPP rules.

"The defendant enriched himself with taxpayer funds meant to help workers and businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic," said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan. "Thanks to the efforts of our law enforcement partners at the IRS, he will face the consequences of his fraud."

"Harrington used the Paycheck Protection Program as his personal ATM. He brazenly stole over one million dollars with no regard for the hard-working American business owners and families this program was intended to support," said Andy Tsui, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (CI) Denver Field Office. "CI has investigated over 1000 instances of Covid-19 relief fraud since the CARES Act was introduced, and this sentence should send a clear message that we will continue to hold those accountable who abused the system for their personal benefit."

This case is being investigated by CI. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nicole Cassidy and Martha Paluch.