Lusby Restaurant Owner Convicted in Scheme to Fraudulently Obtain SBA Business Loan

Defendant Conspired with Contractor to Submit Fraudulent Documents

GREENBELT, Md. (October 25, 2010)—A federal jury today convicted Moreno Straccialini, age 49, of Lusby, Maryland, on three criminal charges, including conspiracy and making false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA).

The conviction was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Aaron Collins of the Small Business Administration - Office of Inspector General.

According to evidence presented during four days of testimony, Straccialini created a business in 2006 to open a new restaurant, known as Chamnari Authentic Korean BBQ, in Lusby. Witnesses testified that in March 2007, Straccialini entered into an agreement with a contractor to perform construction services for Chamnari BBQ for total cost of $145,000.

The evidence showed that in June 2007, Straccialini applied for an SBA loan for $417,000, representing that $295,000 was to be paid to the construction contractor. In the summer of 2007, Straccialini told the owner of the construction company that he had applied for an SBA business loan and asked her to falsely represent that their contract was for $295,000. Straccialini then conspired with the contractor to create a false contract and other documentation representing that the construction cost was $295,000. The fraudulent backdated contract and other documents were given to the SBA to secure approval of the loan.

According to evidence presented at trial, the construction company transferred a total of $97,000 directly to Straccialini after it received the inflated proceeds of the SBA loan.

Straccialini faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison on each of the conspiracy and false statements charges and a maximum of two years in prison for making false statements to the Small Business Administration. U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte has scheduled sentencing for February 16, 2011 at 9:30 a.m.

The contractor previously pleaded guilty to the charge of conspiracy but has not yet been sentenced.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Office of the Inspector General for the Small Business Administration for their work in the investigation. U.S. Attorney Rosenstein and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan C. Su are prosecuting the case.

Source: Office of United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein

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