PPP loans are distributed to help businesses pay for mortgages, payroll, and other necessities to endure the coronavirus pandemic. Pastor Rudolph Brooks, Jr., 45, allegedly had other ideas.
Brooks from Cheltenham, Maryland, was arrested on federal charges of wire fraud on April 2. Law enforcement also obtained warrants authorizing the seizure of more than $2.2 million held in several bank accounts, as well as a 2018 Tesla Model 3.
Brooks allegedly submitted an EIDL loan application on behalf of Cars Direct, his company. However, the information and supporting documentation Brooks submitted for Cars Directs’ PPP loan application was incongruous.
The EIDL application on behalf of Cars Direct purportedly stated that the company’s gross revenue was $148,000 and the cost of goods sold was $82,293 in the one year before COVID-19 being declared a disaster.
“The business allegedly showed an average monthly payroll cost of $622,635 or annual payments of $7,471,630 as Brooks reported on the PPP loan application and supporting fraudulent tax documents.”
The senior pastor of Washington, D.C.’s Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries, initiated numerous transfers of PPP loan funds from the Cars Direct accounts to his bank accounts, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reported in a press release. DOJ stated that Brooks used the PPP loan funds for personal expenditures, including money spent at retail stores, grocery stores, credit card bills, automotive auctioneers, and mortgage payments for his residence.
Brooks used PPP loan funds to buy automobiles a “2017 Mercedes Benz S Class, two 2017 Infinity Q50s, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, a 2005 Bentley Continental, a 2018 Tesla Model 3, a 2014 GMC Yukon XL, and several older model luxury vehicles.”
It remains unclear if Brooks is still involved with Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration.
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-By Corine Gatti-Santillo