ST. LOUIS – Federal prosecutors allege two St. Louis County businessmen abused the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by using the aid money to start a new company and keep the rest for themselves.
A grand jury indicted Chris Carroll and George Reed on Sept. 30 with three counts of bank fraud and six counts of money laundering.
The indictment claims Carroll and Reed’s company, Square One Group, received two fraudulent PPP loans worth more than $2.8 million. Square One Group, based in St. Louis County, specializes in helping people get out of timeshare contracts.
Carroll and Reed are accused of submitting PPP loan applications in their spouses’ names in order to hide the fact Carroll is a paroled felon, which would have precluded Square One from receiving PPP funds.
Prosecutors say the two men did not use the PPP funds to pay their employees. Instead, Carroll and Reed used the money to start a trucking company and to fund $660,000 in payments to themselves. The indictment goes on to allege Carroll and Reed suspended their employees’ pay and health insurance after applying for PPP funds.