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Home / email fraud

SGV man pleads guilty to laundering cash from SBA COVID fraud

A Baldwin Park man who was already on federal probation in an armed bank robbery case pleaded guilty to laundering money from illegally obtained Small Business Association loans and from a law firm that was the victim of email fraud, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Eric Bullard, 59, pleaded guilty Tuesday via videoconference in federal court in Newark, New Jersey, to one count of money laundering conspiracy, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Bullard admitted scheming to launder the proceeds of fraudulently obtained COVID-19 disaster relief loans that were guaranteed by the SBA.

Federal prosecutors said that in June 2020, a client of a New Jersey law firm emailed the firm about a real estate transaction. But during the correspondence, an unknown suspect hacked the law firm’s email, and duped the unsuspecting client into wiring $560,000 to a business bank account controlled by Bullard.

Several hundred thousand dollars were then transferred from Bullard’s account into bank accounts controlled by others, prosecutors said.

Bullard is currently in federal custody, but at the time of the offense he was on federal supervised release from California stemming from bank robbery charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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