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Former Warren County businessman sentenced to 3 years in prison for fraudulently obtaining $1.8M in COVID-19 loans meant for small businesses

MANSFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ (Warren County) – A former Warren County businessman was sentenced Wednesday to 36 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining nearly $1.8 million in federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Rocco A. Malanga, 39, formerly of Mansfield Township, pleaded guilty by videoconference on June 28, 2022, before U.S. District Judge Julien X. Neals to one count of bank fraud and one count of money laundering, Sellinger said.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from April 2020 through August 2020, Malanga submitted false documentation to three lenders to fraudulently obtain approximately $1.8 million in federal COVID-19 emergency relief funds meant for distressed small businesses.

Malanga submitted at least three PPP loan applications on behalf of three different business entities in which he fabricated the number of employees employed by each business entity, as well as their average monthly payroll. Malanga then diverted some of the proceeds from the loans to fund a business that did not receive PPP loan funds, according to documents filed in the case and statements made in court.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Neals sentenced Malanga to three years of supervised release and ordered $1.8 million in restitution and $1.8 million in forfeiture, Sellinger said.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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