Issaquah man sentenced after COVID-19 relief fraud scheme
ISSAQUAH, Wash. - A 46-year-old man was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison after scheming to fraudulently obtain COVID-19 disaster relief funds.
Austin Hsu of Issaquah pleaded guilty to his charges back in late January. Hsu filed nine fraudulent disaster loan applications cumulating to a request of over $1.1 million, according to court documents. As the owner and CEO of his company, Blackrock Services P.S. (Back 2 Health) Hsu received Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for coronavirus aid.
According to The United States Department of Justice (USDJ), Hsu also used the names of current and former employees of Back 2 Health to apply for additional PPP loans under four separate companies that he owned. Hsu used fake federal tax filings in his submission for the PPP loan applications.
In June 2020, Hsu incorporated a company name under Bluline Capital LLC (Blueline) into his scheme in order to apply for an EIDL loan. While Blueline had no business or operations, Hsu reported to the Small Business Administration (SBA) that Blueline had been established in 2017 and that the company had nine employees. To top it off, Hsu claimed that Blueline had amassed receipts of over $1.5 million.
Six out of the nine fraudulent loan applications were approved and he was granted over $700,000 in COVID-19 relief funds.
Along with his prison sentence, Hsu was ordered to pay a fine of $25,000 and over $700,000 in restitution.
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 or online here.
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