Another Seattle-area resident charged for COVID-related relief fraud

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Federal authorities charged a Seattle-area man on Tuesday with one count of wire fraud after he submitted fake applications for COVID-19 relief programs.

Austin Hsu, a 46-year-old resident of Issaquah, Wash., illegally sought more than $1.1 million from the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), part of the government’s CARES Act launched earlier this year to assist businesses facing pandemic-related economic challenges.

According to the complaint, Hsu received EIDL and PPP funds for his company Blackrock Services P.S., which does business as Back 2 Health Bellevue. He then used the names of his current and former employees to apply for more relief loans through other companies he owned. In total, Hsu submitted nine fraudulent applications for five different companies, using fake tax filings and misleading statements.

Hsu is scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 10. He’s the latest Seattle-area resident to be charged with COVID-19 relief program fraud.

Baoke Zhang, a 35-year-old software engineer, pled guilty last week to one count of wire fraud. Mukund Mohan, a Seattle-area tech executive who spent time at Amazon and Microsoft, was charged in July.

The Justice Department said last month it charged 57 people with trying to steal more than $175 million from the PPP, The New York Times reported.

See the full complaint against Hsu below.

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