A Plano dentist pleaded guilty to COVID-19 related fraud, a federal violation in the Eastern District of Texas. U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston made the announcement on November 18, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the case.
Forty-two-year-old Plano resident Brian Bui pleaded guilty to wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christine L. Stetson on Nov. 17, 2022. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Texas, Bui used his business to obtain at least two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans by submitting false application paperwork, including fabricating supporting documentation. He also lied about the number of employees working for him and monthly payroll expenses.
Bui obtained about $1.89 million total in forgivable loans given by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the $2.2 trillion economic relief bill, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES). He then used the funds in an unauthorized and illegal manner, including non-business-related personal investments.
The dentist could face up to 30 years in federal prison and the sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and statutory factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.
The Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force on May 17, 2021, to protect the resources of the Department of Justice after the program became a common target for fraudulent incidences. The task force investigates and prosecutes domestic and international individuals who used the COVID-19 relief funds illegally.
“To anyone thinking of using the global pandemic as an opportunity to scam and steal from hardworking Americans, my advice is simple — don’t,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said in an earlier statement. “No matter where you are or who you are, we will find you and prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”
Local Profile has reached out to Bui for comment. This story will be updated pending response.