Mississippi man accused of utilizing COVID-19 reduction cash to purchase Tesla, $1M residence, prosecutors say

Federal officials say a Starkville man is being charged with a $ 6 million fraud program involving loans from the federal COVID-19 paycheck protection program. Christopher Paul Lick, 45, is accused of using the COVID-19 aid money to buy a $ 1 million home and a $ 100,000 Tesla in four cases of wire transfer fraud, one case of false information against one Financial institution and eleven money laundering cases. Lick is alleged to have a system of trying to get the utility’s loans by submitting false loan applications to banks, including Customers Bank and Cross River Bank. “Lick is said to have overestimated the number of employees and labor costs of his alleged companies that are supposed to receive the money,” said a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Instead of using the PPP funds for his business, Lick reportedly bought a variety of luxury items for personal use.” Prosecutors said Lick also used the money to invest in the stock market. If convicted, Lick could be sentenced to up to 30 years in federal prison.

Federal officials say a Starkville man is being charged with a $ 6 million fraud program involving loans from the federal COVID-19 paycheck protection program.

Christopher Paul Lick, 45, is accused of using the COVID-19 aid money to buy a $ 1 million home and a $ 100,000 Tesla.

Lick was arrested Thursday by FBI agents after he was charged by a federal grand jury on four cases of wire fraud, a number of false statements against a financial institution, and eleven cases of money laundering.

Lick is alleged to have a program designed to obtain the utility’s loans by submitting false credit applications to banks, including Customers Bank and Cross River Bank.

“Lick is said to have overestimated the number of employees and labor costs of his alleged companies that are supposed to receive the money,” said a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Mississippi. “Instead of using the PPP funds for his business, Lick reportedly bought a variety of luxury items for personal use.”

Prosecutors said Lick also used the money to invest in the stock market.

If convicted, Lick could face up to 30 years in prison.