An Egg Harbor Township man has admitted to laundering the proceeds of fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program loans and now faces years behind bars.

Federal authorities say on Thursday, 41-year-old Jeremy Earley pleaded guilty to one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in criminally derived property.

According to court documents, in 2020 and 2021, two companies owned by Earley received loans totaling more than $1.3 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal program that provided forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses.

The loans were approved based on fraudulent applications submitted by conspirator Rhonda Thomas stating that the companies had dozens of employees and monthly payrolls of $145,000 and $382,400, respectively.

The applications also contained forged tax forms.

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In fact, Earley’s businesses had no employees other than himself and paid minimal to no wages.

After receiving the loans, Earley wrote checks totaling nearly $400,000 to Thomas to compensate her for her role in submitting the fraudulent loan applications.

The charge of money laundering carries up to a decade in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Sentencing is scheduled for October 13th.

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