A Manhasset man and his nephew were indicted by a Manhattan grand jury on charges they stole more than $1.6 million through pandemic relief programs, officials said Friday.
William Felcon and his nephew, Thomas A. Felcon of Howard Beach, are accused in the indictment with conspiracy, scheme to defraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg Jr. said in a statement Friday.
Bragg explained that according to court records and prosecutors in his office, between April 7, 2020 and June 17, 2021, the defendants allegedly obtained federal loans for their respective companies through false statements in numerous loan applications.
The applications involved the number of employees, payroll amounts and the intended use of the loan proceeds of the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs, Bragg said.
In total, according to Bragg, the companies received more than $600,000 in PPP loans from several private lenders and got loan advances and more than $1 million in EIDL loans for which they were not eligible.
The scheme was allegedly done through the use of fraudulent IRS reporting forms that falsely inflated the number of employees for each of the companies, as well as the amount the respective companies' wages and payroll taxes, Bragg said.
“The Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs were available at the height of the pandemic when New Yorkers needed immediate financial support to keep their businesses afloat,” Bragg said in a statement. "These individuals allegedly defrauded the system and lined their own pockets at the expense of others during a dire economic situation.”
Along with the Felcons, four of their companies -- two in New Hyde Park and two in South Ozone Park, Queens -- were charged in the indictment.
Bragg said the indictments were the result of an investigation into suspicious financial transactions involving New York City-based drywall construction firms.
At their arraignments in Manhattan, the Felcons entered not guilty pleas and were released on their own recognizance, a spokeswoman for Bragg's office said. They are next due in court on Feb. 10.
Defense attorney Murray Richman, who is representing William Felcon, said his client was 65 years old. Richman declined to comment except to say “he is a really good man.”
Anthony Strazza, who is representing Thomas Felcon, couldn’t be reached for comment.