Jae H. Choi had to lay off 150 of his employees last April at the start of the pandemic. He said it was devastating.
As he did so, Choi “watched grown men and women crying.” He explained this to the lender he was desperately seeking to provide his education company a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in order to pay the employees amid the COVID health crisis that brought the economy to a halt.
The crocodile tears worked. Feds say it was all a lie.
Choi, of Cliffside Park, eventually received around $9 million in PPP loans under an elaborate scam, according to a 10-count indictment handed down against the licensed attorney in September.
Federal authorities allege Choi, like a number of other individuals and companies, exploited the pandemic and crucial government services providing during it in order to enrich himself. He fabricated the existence of hundreds of employees, manipulated bank and tax records, and falsified a driver’s license on the…