ALBANY, NEW YORK – Christopher Mozone, age 36, of Albany was sentenced today to serve 41 months in prison for engaging in a fraudulent scheme to obtain a government loan meant for businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and James Bensley, Resident Agent in Charge of United States Secret Service (USSS)’s Albany Resident Office. As part of his previously-entered guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Mozone admitted that he conspired to obtain a $124,800 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) by falsely representing on a loan application that he owned a business when no such business existed. Mozone then spent the loan proceeds—which were supposed to be used for business purposes—on personal expenses, including nearly $10,000 in jewelry and a trip to Atlantic City, New Jersey. Senior United States District Judge Lawrence E. Kahn also imposed a 3-year term of supervised release, to begin after Mozone is released from prison, and ordered him to pay $43,378.08 in restitution to the SBA. This case was investigated by the USSS. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joshua R. Rosenthal and Michael D. Gadarian prosecuted the case. On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Updated August 31, 2023