Man accused of setting up phony business to get federal loans, grants

October 9, 2020 Editorial Staff
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Trapp already in custody on charges of sabotaging police car

Jeremy Trapp, a Brooklyn resident who is already being held in custody on charges of sabotaging an NYPD vehicle’s brake lines, was charged on Thursday by the U.S Attorney’s Office in Brooklyn with inventing a phony business in order to get an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District, Trapp, 24, applied for an EIDL loan and grant in June. In the application, Trapp claimed that he was the sole proprietor of a car wash located at his home address in Brooklyn.

Trapp also claimed that he had 10 employees and that his gross revenue for the 12 months before the COVID-19 pandemic was $150,000, the complaint said. Based on Trapp’s representations, the Small Business Administration gave him a $42,500 loan and a $10,000 grant.

However, on Sept. 10, FBI agents interviewed Trapp’s mother at the family residence. She confirmed that Trapp had never operated a car wash, and that no such business had ever been located there.

“The FBI’s own review of the Trapp residence confirmed that a commercial car wash could not reasonably have been located in an apartment in a multi-unit residential building,” the complaint said.

“Without a legitimate business to claim or any employees to pay, he wasn’t at all eligible for the funding he received,” said William Sweeney, assistant director in charge of the FBI. “As a result, the one thing Trapp is now eligible for is the chance of spending a significant time behind bars.”

If convicted, Trapp faces up to 20 years on the fraud charged. His defense attorney is Ashley Burrell of the Brooklyn Federal Defenders.

In the earlier incident, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, on July 13, Trapp participated in a demonstration outside Brooklyn Criminal Court Building related to the arrests of several people who had confronted pro-law enforcement demonstrations in Bay Ridge.–>

As the demonstration was winding down, Trapp spoke to a person who was  a confidential source for the police, telling them that wanted to hurt police officers and that he wanted to cut the brake line on police cars.

On July 17, the confidential source drove to Trapp’s home and picked him. Trapp showed them a backpack containing a scissors-like tool. Around 4 p.m. that day, Trapp and the source approached an NYPD van in Sunset Park, whereupon Trapp crawled under the van and reached for something underneath while the other person looked on, the complaint said.

Around the same time, Trapp also told the source that he wanted to burn the Verrazzano Bridge so that white supremacists couldn’t get from Brooklyn to Staten Island, the Staten Island Advance reported.

Later, an inspection revealed that line for a wheel speed sensor had been severed. The line is similar in appearance to the NYPD vehicle’s main brake line. If convicted on this charge, Trapp faces up to 20 years in prison.

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