PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man was sentenced Tuesday to almost seven years in prison for fraudulently seeking more than $4.7 million in forgivable federal loans meant for businesses struggling during the coronavirus pandemic while he was still on probation from a previous conviction, federal prosecutors said.
Michael Moller, 42, of Middletown, filed 11 fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans, federal prosecutors said in an emailed statement.
He used his own name, as well as the names of his father, his girlfriend’s brother, and his girlfriend’s son to apply for the loans to pay employees at businesses that did not exist, authorities said.
He actually received almost $600,000, some of which he used for a trip to Las Vegas, home renovations, and a car, prosecutors said.
He was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence to five years and 10 months for the loan scam, and another year for violating the terms of his release on a federal bank robbery conviction. He was also orded to pay full restitution.
Moller also has multiple convictions in state and federal courts for larceny and tax fraud, authorities said.
His attorney sought leniency, blaming Moller's actions on mental health issues and a gambling addiction. Moller apologized in court.