A North Jersey man is headed to prison for defrauding several financial institutions and illegally obtaining more than $2 million in COVID-19 funding meant to help small businesses impacted by the pandemic.

On Wednesday in Newark federal court, 54-year-old John Jhong of Sparta, Sussex County, was sentenced to three years in prison.

Jhong had previously pleaded guilty to one count each of bank fraud, money laundering, and misuse of a Social Security number.

Federal authorities say Jhong submitted numerous fraudulent loan applications in which he sought over $15 million in federal pandemic aid and illegally obtained $2 million of that money.

Jhong used false and fraudulent tax returns, government forms, and other people’s names and documents, including Social Security numbers of individuals who were deceased for over a decade.

He spent his ill-gotten gains on personal expenses.

Payback time

In addition to his prison sentence, Jhong was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and he was ordered to pay back $2.13 million.

gavel and cash money

Feds speak

Gail Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration, said in a press release,

As the nation was struggling with the damaging effects of the pandemic, Mr. Jhong callously attempted to deceive lenders and fraudulently secure Paycheck Protection Program loans by knowingly misusing several Social Security numbers. I thank the investigating agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their efforts in holding Mr. Jhong accountable for these crimes.

You can help reduce fraud

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.

The Absolute Best Restaurant in Every Single Shore Town in NJ

Hungry? Let's dive in...

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

More From Cat Country 107.3