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Utahn charged with lying on PPP loan applications, telling others to do the same

A Utah man faces federal charges accusing him of lying on PPP loan applications and encouraging his clients to do the same.

A Utah man faces federal charges accusing him of lying on PPP loan applications and encouraging his clients to do the same. (Scott G Winterton, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah man is facing criminal charges accusing him of lying on Paycheck Protection Program loan applications and encouraging his clients to do the same.

Timothy Gibson was charged Monday in Utah's federal court with bank fraud and two counts of making false statements to a banks. Gibson is accused of trying to get money from the PPP, a part of the CARES Act that was signed into law in 2020 that made funds available to individuals and businesses in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gibson and uncharged co-conspirators submitted an online loan application through Mountain America Credit Union on behalf of an unnamed person and their business called 17 Paths LLC. The application contained "materially false information," according to charging documents. The company said in the loan application that the company had seven employees, when prosecutors say it only had one. The company also indicated on the application that it had a monthly payroll of $56,000, when the company only had around $5,000 in monthly payroll, the charges allege.

According to PPP loan data published by ProPublica, there is an Eagle Mountain-based company named 17 Paths LLC that received a $11,949 PPP loan from Mountain America Credit Union. Utah's business entity search shows there is a registered company named 17 Paths LLC that is based in Eagle Mountain, though Gibson is not listed as the registered agent of the company.

Gibson is accused of making additional false statements on two loan applications through Mountain America Credit Union in May 2020.

In one application, investigators say Gibson asked for over $166,000 for a company called Creative Investment Group LLC. The charges allege that the application said the business had eight employees, when in reality it had only one. The application allegedly indicated that the company's monthly payroll was over $66,000, when prosecutors say it had no monthly payroll expenses.

The second loan application was made by Gibson on behalf of Polaris Development Group LLC, according to charging documents. The loan allegedly requested over $208,000. Prosecutors say the loan application indicated there were 10 employees at the business, when it actually just had one. The loan request also indicated the business had an average monthly payroll of over $83,000, though court documents say it actually had no monthly payroll.

In addition to making the allegedly false statements to the credit union, prosecutors also say Gibson "advised approximately 25 of his clients that they could apply for and obtain PPP loans using false and fraudulent information." The charges say Gibson told clients they could use PPP loan money to "grow their business."

As of Wednesday, court filings did not indicate whether Gibson was in police custody. He does not have an attorney listed in court records, and he did not have an initial court date set as of Wednesday.

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Jacob Scholl joined KSL.com as a reporter in 2021. He covers northern Utah communities, federal courts and technology.

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