Local attorney sentenced to 27 months’ imprisonment for pandemic relief fraud, mail fraud and tax evasion


Date: May 11, 2023

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

SCRANTON — The United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced that on May 9, 2023, Jonathan Olivetti of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was sentenced to 27 months imprisonment by United States District Court Judge Jennifer P. Wilson for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to obtain COVID-19 pandemic relief money he was not entitled to receive, mail fraud and tax evasion.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, between June 18, 2020 and February 2021, Olivetti, a licensed attorney, applied for two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and two Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) on behalf of Olivetti Law, LLC. Both loan programs were authorized or expanded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act -- a federal law enacted in March 2020 that provided emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering financial difficulties from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With respect to the PPP loans, Olivetti allegedly made materially false representations by inflating the payroll of Olivetti Law, LLC in the on-line applications and received $41,600 based upon those false representations. In addition, Olivetti made application for two Economic Injury Disaster Loans ("EIDL") which were to provide low-interest financing (including forgivable $10,000 advances) to small businesses experiencing substantial financial disruption resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Olivetti's EIDL loan applications each sought approximately $62,500 on behalf of Olivetti Law, LLC. The applications contained inflated gross receipts of Olivetti Law and ultimately were not approved by the SBA.

Olivetti also stole approximately $91,991.28 from an estate that he represented. Additionally, between November 9, 2015, and July 15, 2020, Olivetti attempted to evade paying his taxes by hiding funds and providing false information to an Internal Revenue Officer.

Judge Wilson also ordered Olivetti to pay restitution in the amount of $21,800 to SBA, $20,800 to MBE Capital, $91,991.28 for the mail fraud offense, and the loss for the tax evasion offense of $133,269.81. Olivetti was ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons on June 9, 2023.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.