Ky. man pleads guilty to fraud, taking $1.3M in COVID relief loans

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Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 4:30 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A Versailles man pleaded guilty on Thursday to a conspiracy to commit wire fraud to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans under false pretenses.

According to his plea agreement in April 2020, Randall “Rocky” Blankenship, Jr., 49, submitted four fraudulent applications for PPP loans for four different business entities he formed.

The Eastern District of Kentucky U.S. Attorney’s Office said as part of his fraudulent PPP loan applications, Blankenship, with the assistance of a certified public accountant, created fake tax documents and payroll records indicating that his businesses had hundreds of thousands of dollars in quarterly payroll. However, none of the entities had any payroll expense at all.

Blankenship submitted the applications through Kentucky Bank and Independence Bank; and as a result, he obtained fraudulent PPP loans totaling $1,323,829.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said according to his plea, he used some of the funds for a RV business he owned as well as personal use, including paying off casino debt and purchasing real estate.

Blankenship is scheduled to be sentenced on March 17, 2022.

Blankenship agreed to pay restitution of $1,323,829. He faces a maximum of twenty years in prison, a fine of not more than $250,000, and supervised release of not more than three years.

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