A Hudson Valley man helped a New York MTA special inspector illegally obtain $5.6 million in loans meant for struggling New York businesses.

On Thursday, 32-year-old Sean M. Andre of Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiring with an Ulster County man to fraudulently obtain more than $5.6 million in government-backed loans meant for businesses struggling with the financial effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

At the time of his crimes, Andre was a Special Inspector for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in New York City.

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Andre pled guilty last May to conspiring to commit bank fraud and conspiring to commit wire fraud. He admitted to helping Jean R. Lavanture obtain $4,309,581 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans between June and August 2020, by submitting fraudulent loan applications in the names of four companies that Lavanture controlled.

Lavanture, 49, of Saugerties, New York, was sentenced last month to 60 months in prison. He was accused of stealing nearly $5 million in COVID-19 relief loans meant for small businesses struggling during the pandemic.

COVID-19 economic Stimulus check on blurred USA flag background. Relief program concept.
Evgenia Parajanian

Each loan application misrepresented the number of employees, and total payroll, that each company had, and included false tax documents that Andre created as part of the scheme. Andre was paid $157,578 for his role in the scheme.

Andre also admitted that he fraudulently obtained an additional $1,309,754 in pandemic relief loans, by submitting loan applications in the names of companies he controlled.

In these loan applications, Andre lied about the number of employees, and total payroll, that his companies had.

COVID-19 coronavirus in USA, 100 dollar money bill with face mask. Coronavirus affects global stock market.

Andre was ordered to pay $1,309,754 in restitution to his victims and forfeit $32,900 in U.S. currency, the balances of six bank accounts totaling $365,613.09, and a 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS, all previously seized by the FBI.

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