California man admits laundering money from fraudulent SBA loans

New Jersey

A California man pleaded guilty today to laundering money from fraudulent loans from the Small Business Association (SBA) and a law firm that suffered a business email compromise, the report said. American attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

According to federal officials, Mr. Eric Bullard, 59, of California, pleaded guilty by videoconference before U.S. District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of money laundering conspiracy.

Bullard is currently in custody and, at the time of the offense, was at large under federal supervision in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California on charges of armed bank robbery.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

In June 2020, Victim 1, a resident of Bergen County, New Jersey, communicated via email with a New Jersey law firm, which was advising Victim 1 on a real estate transaction. During this email correspondence, an unknown person compromised an email account used by the New Jersey law firm.

Victim 1 was tricked into wire approximately $560,000 to a corporate bank account controlled by Bullard. Several hundred thousand dollars were then transferred from Bullard’s account to bank accounts controlled by others.

Bullard and others also conspired to launder proceeds of fraudulently obtained COVID-19 disaster relief loans guaranteed by the SBA.

In July 2020, the money obtained from these loans was deposited in Bullard’s bank accounts.

The money laundering conspiracy charge has a maximum term of 20 years and a maximum fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the funds involved in the transfer, whichever is greater.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited FBI Special Agents, under Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr., with the investigation that led to today’s guilty plea.

James V. Hayes