News

6 men in Will County charged with Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud

Joliet — Over the past several weeks, six men have been arrested on charges of committing Paycheck Protection Program fraud as part of a Joliet police investigation that also involves other law enforcement agencies, police said.

Since June 15, Jacques Harris, 25, Antwan Godfrey, 41, Monroe Lincoln, 25, Donta Bailey, 18, all of Joliet, as well as Walter Duncan, 23, of Plainfield and Ronald Neal, 31, of Shorewood, have been jailed in Will County.

Prosecutors charged each of the men with securing PPP loans for their businesses through fraudulent means.

Jacques Harris

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.

Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English declined to provide further details about the case because the investigation is ongoing and involves other law enforcement agencies.

Walter Duncan

Here is what each man has been charged with:

• Harris was charged with receiving a $17,082 loan by fraudulently representing that his dog breeder business had gross revenues of $82,000 in 2019.

• Godfrey was charged with receiving a $20,833 loan by fraudulently representing that his barber shop business had gross revenues of $106,000 in 2019.

Antwan Godfrey

• Lincoln was charged with receiving a $20,833 loan by fraudulently representing that his unidentified business had gross revenues of $114,790 in 2019.

• Bailey was charged with receiving a $20,802 loan by fraudulently representing that his taxi business had gross revenues of $99,856 in 2019.

• Duncan was charged with receiving a $20,832 loan by fraudulently representing that his unidentified business had gross revenues of $106,000 in 2019.

Monroe Lincoln

• Neal was charged with receiving a $20,833 loan by fraudulently representing that his unidentified business had gross revenues of $120,000 in 2019.

Harris, Bailey and Neal also were charged with state benefits fraud. Prosecutors alleged that Harris, Bailey and Neal fraudulently received $702, $784 and $4,482 in unemployment benefits, respectively.

Lincoln, Duncan and Neal also were charged with using deception on their PPP loan applications by falsely claiming that they were not subject to criminal charges.

In 2020, Lincoln was charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon while Duncan was charged with unlawful marijuana possession with intent to deliver, court records show. Last year, Neal was charged with being an armed habitual criminal. Those cases remain open.

Ronald Neal