Joliet man charged with defrauding Paycheck Protection Program with dog breeder business

A Joliet man has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $17,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program for his dog breeder business.

On June 14, Judge Art Smigielski signed a $1 million bond warrant for the arrest of Jacques Harris, 25, of the 900 block of West Park Avenue, on charges of theft by deception, loan fraud, forgery and state benefits fraud.

Harris was jailed at the Will County jail on June 15. He remains there as of Monday.

Harris was previously convicted of aggravated robbery twice in 2016. He has two pending cases from 2020 on gun possession and drug delivery charges.

Prosecutors alleged in a criminal complaint that Harris applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan in the amount of $17,082 by fraudulently representing that his dog breeder business had gross revenues of $82,000 in 2019.

The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act to provide small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Prosecutors further alleged that he submitted a claim for unemployment benefits on June 15, 2021, to the Illinois Department of Employment Security by falsely representing he was unemployed.

Prosecutors said Harris received $702 in unemployment benefits as a result.

Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English declined to provide any information about Harris’ case because it is still under investigation.

Harris is scheduled to appear in court on July 7 for a preliminary hearing to determine if he committed the offenses.

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver

Felix Sarver covers crime and courts for The Herald-News