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North Carolina man charged with fraud in virus aid scheme

A North Carolina man accused of fraudulently applying for $6.1 million in coronavirus relief funds has been federally charged.

Tristan Bishop Pan, 38, of Garner, submitted 14 Paycheck Protection Program loan applications and received more than $1.7 million for fake businesses, some named for fictional characters from the popular television series Game of Thrones, according to a statement released by the U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday.

The applications for the businesses — Pan Insurance Agency, White Walker, Khaleesi and The Night’s Watch — included falsified tax filings and false statements about employee and payroll expenses, prosecutors said.

Some of the funds were recovered, the statement said.

Pan was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, according to the Justice Department. It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.

The Paycheck Protection Program was created to infuse small businesses, which typically have less access to quick cash and credit, with hundreds of billions of dollars in forgivable emergency loans that could help keep workers on the job and bills paid on time.

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