Las Vegas man sentenced to five years in COVID relief and tax fraud scheme


Date: November 23, 2022


Las Vegas, NV — Jorge Abramovs was sentenced to five years in prison for his participation in a scheme to defraud multiple financial institutions by filing fraudulent bank loan applications that sought more than $1.9 million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The man also pleaded guilty to collecting over $350,000 from employees as income tax and Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) withholdings for tax years 2014 to 2019, which he failed to pay over to the IRS on the employees' behalf.

Abramovs, submitted at least 12 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications to seven different lenders in spring 2020. As part of the scheme, he submitted the loan applications in the names of multiple different businesses while falsely claiming to have numerous employees earning wages. In fact, these businesses were non-operational: they had no employees and no monthly payroll.

To support the fraudulent loan applications, Abramovs submitted false information about the businesses, fake tax documents and payroll schedules, and other forged documents. In total, Abramovs fraudulently obtained $1,986,737 in PPP loans. Rather than spending these funds to pay workers or for other specified business expenses as certified in the loan applications, Abramovs spent these funds on purchases for himself, including luxury condominiums, a Bentley, a Tesla, and payments on his home mortgage.

Abramovs also failed to pay $475,000 in taxes owed to the IRS, relating to a different set of companies Abramovs controlled and operated. From 2014 through 2019, Abramovs was responsible for collecting and paying over employee-related taxes to the IRS, including withheld employee federal income tax, employee and employer FICA contributions, and federal unemployment tax. But Abramovs did not pay these withheld funds over to the IRS. Similarly, he failed to pay employer FICA contributions and unemployment tax payments the entities owed the IRS for those employees.

"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."

Abramovs was ordered to pay total restitution in the amount of $2,508,831.74. The restitution was payable to one of the lenders, the Small Business Administration and the IRS.