Federal authorities say a construction company based in Atlantic County and one of its owners have agreed to a settlement in which they will admit to improperly taking a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth over $255,000.

U.S. Attorney Philip Sellinger says Christopher Construction Company, Inc., and one of its owners, Dennis Christopher, applied for and received a PPP loan totaling $255,507 as part of a federal program that was created at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to help those suffering from the economic impacts of the virus.

"Christopher, on behalf of the Company, falsely certified in the PPP application that neither the Company nor any individual owning 20 percent or more of its equity was subject to an indictment or other criminal charges. When he completed the application, however, Christopher knew that another owner of the Company was subject to a criminal indictment," said Sellinger's office.

Sellinger points out that prior to entering into the settlement, the company repaid the loan in full.

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As part of the settlement, the company and Christopher agreed to pay just over $53,000 in damages and civil penalties.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721.

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