Prosecutors have charged two sex offenders from Steger with fraudulently receiving Paycheck Protection Program loans meant for businesses struggling to make payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic.
On Sept. 15, Judge Ken Zelazo signed warrants for the arrest of Macky Sharp, 28, and Luis Velazquez, 46, both of Steger, in two separate cases involving charges of Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud.
Sharp pleaded guilty on May 21, 2018, to sexually abusing a 23-year-old victim in Will County, according to court records. Velazquez was convicted of sexually abusing a 14-year-old victim in Cook County, according to the Illinois State Police sex offender registry.
Steger Police Detective Alex Farkas investigated Sharp and Velazquez. He said his investigation showed both men claimed to run businesses that did not exist in order to obtain PPP loans.
Farkas said Sharp fraudulently claimed he was operating a retail store out of his apartment in the 3700 block of Union Avenue in Steger to get a PPP loan that prosecutors alleged was worth $20,833.
Farkas said his investigation of Velazquez revealed he falsely claimed to run a limousine business in Steger to obtain his PPP loan, which prosecutors alleged was $20,625.
Farkas also investigated Zachary Perry, 26, of Steger. He said Perry falsely claimed he was running a catering service in Steger.
Prosecutors alleged Perry fraudulently obtained a $20,833 PPP loan.
None of the three men have been arrested as of Tuesday, Farkas said.
The Joliet Police Department also has been conducting a PPP loan fraud investigation that has led to numerous arrests and charges.