Gifford bar and restaurant owner reportedly took $ 170,000 in PPP loans after laying off staff

A suburban restaurant owner faces federal charges for taking out a federal coronavirus stimulus loan of $ 176,000 a month after laying off staff and being kicked out of his Elgin restaurant location.

Melissa Turasky, owner of Gifford’s Kitchen and Social, used some of the money from the Paycheck Protection Program to make payments on her credit card, federal prosecutors said in an unsealed indictment on Friday.

Turasky, 43, was evicted on March 2 from her restaurant location at 2300 Bushwood Dr. and had laid off all of her employees by the end of the month, according to the indictment.

Yet on April 10, Turasky applied for the PPP loan from a bank and lied to make it look like his business was open and up and running, prosecutors said.

The indictment accuses him of bank fraud and misrepresentation to a financial institution.

PPP loans have rules that limit their use to retain workers, maintain payroll, or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments.

The US Attorney’s Office is asking for the confiscation of the assets illegally acquired with the loans.

Turasky, who could not be reached for comment, is the second Chicago-area businessman charged with fraud under the PPP loan program. In June, the Evanston businessman Rahul Shah asked for $ 441,000 in loans after falsely exaggerating his payroll, prosecutors said.

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