SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced on Monday that Darryl Corradini, age 63, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for bank fraud and a money-laundering scheme that included nearly $300,000 in COVID-19 relief for small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The PPP was designed to help small businesses survive financial instability during the COVID-19 pandemic. They offered forgivable loans for employee payroll, mortgage interest, lease, and utility expenses.

According to United States Attorney John C. Gurganus, Corradini pleaded guilty to a money-laundering scheme. Corradini created a fake real estate agency called CGM Realty LLC, opened bank accounts under this name, and opened a Bitcoin trading account in the company’s name using forged documents.

According Gurganus, Corradini and his accomplice, Vicki Hackenberg, used these bank accounts to receive over $135,000 in fraudulently obtained funds and over $296,000 from a PPP loan. Corradini was able to receive the PPP loan by forging documents that stated he would use the PPP funds for approved purposes, and also forged IRS documentation containing false information on his employee payroll obligations. In reality, Corradini had no employees or legitimate business operations, Gurganus added.

Corradini used over $350,000 of the fraudulent proceeds to purchase Bitcoins, a form of cryptocurrency. Although Corradini and Hackenberg were both supposed to receive $40,000 from this scam, they ultimately received less than $10,000.

During the sentencing, Chief Judge Brann highlighted Corradini’s lies to law enforcement and the concealment of a separate bank account used to receive fraudulent proceeds.

In addition to Corradini’s 18-month prison sentence, Chief Judge Brann ordered him to perform 20 hours of community service and to pay back $431,289 to the victims of his crimes.

That restitution obligation is shared by Hackenberg, who was previously sentenced to serve 12 months in prison by Chief Judge Brann.

This case was investigated by agents with the IRS Criminal Investigations Division. The matter was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Phillip J. Caraballo.