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Omaha man sentenced to prison, ordered to repay pandemic programs after scam

By: - September 15, 2022 5:51 pm

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LINCOLN — An Omaha man has been sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to repay $45,833 after being found guilty of scamming the federal Paycheck Protection Program, designed to maintain employment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Robert Rossiter sentenced Bion Flint, 44, to 10 months’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

During 2020 and 2021, Flint submitted or caused to be submitted applications for the PPP Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, two programs designed to help those suffering due to the pandemic.

Flint misrepresented his income as a sole proprietor and supported his applications with false tax documents, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

He and a co-conspirator submitted fraudulent applications for loans totaling approximately $82,563, and Flint obtained $40,833.

The U.S. Attorney General in 2021 established a fraud task force to track down people cheating the government.

Anyone with tips about attempted fraud involving COVID-19 programs should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud at 866-720-5721 or via the website: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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Paul Hammel
Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and later, editing the Papillion Times group in suburban Omaha. He joined the Lincoln Journal-Star as a sports enterprise reporter, and then a roving reporter covering southeast Nebraska. In 1990, he was hired by the Omaha World-Herald as a legislative reporter. Later, for 15 years, he roamed the state covering all kinds of news and feature stories. In the past decade, he served as chief of the Lincoln Bureau and enterprise reporter. Paul has won awards for reporting from Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press, Nebraska Newspaper Association and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation, a member of the Nebraska Hop Growers and a volunteer caretaker of Irvingdale Park in Lincoln.

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