Two Oregon men had the same dumb scheme planned.
Whenever the government is handing out money, the risk of people engaging in fraud to get a lick of that brass ring seems incredibly high. We’ve seen time and again people abusing COVID-19 shutdown relief funds to buy expensive cars and apparently that trend is far from over. Two genius men in Oregon are accused of doing the same thing, dipping into taxpayer dollars which were set aside to provide relief to small businesses.
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The two men accused of fraudulently taking small business relief funds in Oregon are David Unitan of Lake Oswego and Jeremy Clawson of Baker City. Even though they both deployed the same brilliant plan, they apparently don’t know each other and were working separately to defraud taxpayers.
According to authorities, Clawson received a small business loan from the government in the amount of $145,200 back in August. It was deposited into an account he shared with his girlfriend. The business Clawson put on the loan application doesn’t exist, but that didn’t stop the guy from buying a 2016 Dodge Challenger. Thankfully, the bank noticed how the government relief money was being used and got in touch with the Small Business Administration.
Before that investigation came to its conclusion, Clawson was arrested for DUII in early September. He also tried to flee from police and was driving on a suspended license. When he was taken into custody, officers found $30,000 in cash on him. The guy lied through his teeth, saying he got the money from his father when he passed away.
Doing some digging, investigators learned Clawson not only bought the Mopar muscle car with the SBA loan, he purchased a few other vehicles, although they haven’t disclosed what those are. Thankfully, about $50,0000 was still left over. Now Clawson is facing theft of government property charges.
Unitan, who also goes by the name Danny Cohen, is accused of applying for 6 small business and PPP loans. Somehow, 2 of those were approved and the guy was given $295,000. He almost immediately bought a new Ford F-350 for $77,898. Obviously he went for one of the higher trims, probably with some nice factory options on it, since of course it was all on us taxpayers.
Cohen already had problems with the law, having recently been pulled over with a suspended license. The Tesla he was driving at the time had been impounded, so he decided a free truck was the solution.
After being arrested by federal agents, Cohen had his Tesla and Ford F-350 seized. He’s facing money laundering, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft charges.
Not only are these two men accused of taking money which should’ve gone to small business, they probably didn’t think for one second about the business owners and employees who are just trying to keep things together in the face of extreme adversity. Instead, they were just thinking of themselves and what cool car they wanted to buy. These types of crimes are particularly disgusting and we’re tired of them, so we’re going to keep helping to shine a light on them.
We understand people want a cool muscle car or a big truck to tow their boat to the lake for the weekend. There’s really nothing wrong with that. However, before you think getting a fraudulent loan from the government as people are trying to patch up their businesses from the damage done by mandated shutdowns, just stop. Do what the rest of society does and work hard, save your money, and earn your stuff the honest way or you too could be sitting in federal prison.