The U.S. Department of Justice accuses Texas resident Joshua Thomas Argires of illegally receiving $ 1.1 million in social benefits for employers that he spent on cryptocurrencies.
The ministry claims that US citizen Joshua Thomas Argires received $ 1.1 million in paychecks under the state-owned Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to support employers during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to the lawsuit , Argires filed an application with the Small Business Administration on behalf of two firms: Texas Barbecue and Houston Landscaping. He said that both firms have a large number of employees, and his labor costs amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.
However, as it turned out, none of the companies had any debts to employees, and the allocated money was not spent on salaries or other expenses stipulated by the PPP program. Instead, funds of $ 956,250 intended for Texas Barbecue were listed on the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange.
According to investigative authorities, from May 19, Argires made five deposits on the exchange using a wire transfer. The money received on behalf of Houston Landscaping was stored in the bank account of Argires, with some of the funds he transferred through an ATM for personal use.
Argires is the only user on the Coinbase exchange account, and there is no indication that his account is being controlled by another person. Therefore, he will have to bear responsibility for providing false information to a financial institution, fraud and illegal money transactions.
Recall that earlier the CEO of OKEx cryptocurrency exchange Jay Hao suggested that many American citizens are likely to spend government payments on the purchase of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.