Two South Florida men have been sentenced to prison for orchestrating a scheme to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program, which was part of federal economic-stimulus efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday.
James Stote, 56, of Hollywood, and Phillip Augustin, 53, of Coral Springs, were sentenced in the federal Northern District of Ohio. Stote received a sentence of 120 months in prison, while Augustin received 78 months.
The men, who pleaded guilty in December to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, were accused of using falsified documents to obtain a PPP loan for Augustin’s company, Clear Vision Music Group LLC. They also recruited additional people and submitted fraudulent loan applications in return for portions of the proceeds, the Justice Department said in a news release.
In addition to the prison sentences, Stote was ordered to pay more than $10.1 million in restitution and more than $1.1 million in forfeiture, while Augustin was ordered to pay more than $5.9 million in restitution and more than $272,000 in forfeiture.