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Man sentenced for $162K in PPP fraud, used money to buy Range Rover

By Iyani Hughes

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    ATLANTA (WGCL) — An Atlanta man is behind bars after obtaining a fraudulent PPP loan for $160,000, then using a portion to purchase a Range Rover.

Brandon Ridge, 37, of Decatur, was sentenced to serve two years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and to forfeit his interest in the Range Rover and over $100,000 seized from his bank accounts.

“Ridge thought he could unjustly enrich himself by defrauding a program designed to support struggling businesses during an international pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “His sentence should serve as a warning to others that there are serious consequences for engaging in this type of fraud.

According to U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges and other information presented in court: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) is a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP.

The PPP allows qualifying small businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of one percent.

PPP loan proceeds must be used by businesses on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.

The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within eight weeks of receipt and use at least 75 percent of the forgiven amount for payroll.

Ridge submitted two false PPP loan applications for his business, “Barking Rose Solutions,” requesting loan amounts totaling $449,917.50.

The applications contained materially false information, including fabricated banking statements that inflated the company’s deposits and expenditures to make it appear that the company qualified for PPP relief.

One of these loan applications was accepted and the defendant received $162,467.50 in fraudulent loan proceeds. The defendant then used the proceeds for his own personal benefit, which included purchasing a Range Rover.

“Ridge’s personal greed affects every tax paying citizen in this country and takes away from government funds intended to provide relief to small business and employees who desperately need it during this pandemic”, said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This sentence serves as a message that the FBI and our federal partners remain vigilant during this pandemic to make sure funds provided by programs like PPP are used as intended.”

Ridge previously entered a plea of guilty to bank fraud. As part of his plea agreement, he agreed to forfeit his interest in the Range Rover as well as over $100,000 seized from his bank accounts.

For further information, you can contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at or (404) 581-6016.

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