Portland man stole nearly $200K from COVID-relief funds

Multnomah County

Eric Lysne pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud

(Photo: Getty Images)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man has been charged for falsely representing himself as a business and receiving nearly $200,000 in relief funds meant for small businesses during the pandemic.

Eric Wade Lysne pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud Thursday after defrauding the Small Business Administration, among other financial institutions.

Authorities said he began the scheme in April 2020 when he applied for an Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans. He used false borrower information by posing as companies, including Paradigm Consulting Groups.

The following month he applied for EIDL, claiming Paradigm had 10 employees and grossed nearly $1 million for the 12-month period ending in January 2020. Officials said Lysne proceeded to claim he, as the applicant, had not been convicted of any felonies in the last five years, despite his felony conviction in May 2019.

That June, $147,400 EIDL was deposited to his personal bank account. He then received a $10,000 advance weeks later. Lysne used the money on personal travel bookings and multiple cash withdrawals, according to authorities.

He applied for an additional relief fund for $302,600 in April 2021. The application did not make it through the review process before he was indicted this past May.

He also applied for a PPP loan for $50,000 from a bank in Logan, UT. On this application he claimed the business had two employees with an average monthly payroll of $20,000. The loan was partially approved for $27,700, officials said.

Lysne was indicted for both bank fraud and wire fraud.

According to authorities, U.S. District Court Judge Michael H. Simon is set to sentence Lysne on February 1, 2022.

Lysne’s plea agreement said he’d pay $360,467 in restitution to SBA and $185,100 would be seized by law enforcement.

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