An Irvine man went on a luxury spending spree with fraudulently obtained PPP loans, buying himself luxury cars and designer swag, and landing himself in prison, federal prosecutors announced Friday. Pierre Rogers, 44, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison this week after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the scheme.
Rogers and his co-defendant, Joshua Leavitt, applied for nearly $5 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program as well as Economic Injury Disaster Loans for several businesses that they owned using falsified documents including tax returns.
They submitted 22 applications and ultimately received just over $800,000. Much of the money was spent not for the benefit of company employees but on a raft of luxury items and experiences.
Rogers bought a 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost for $107,780 and a Porsche for $56,000. He spent nearly $2,000 at Cartier, more than $4,000 at a Jaguar/Land Rover dealership and over $3,000 each at Bulgari and Bottega Veneta. Rogers also spent nearly $8,000 combined at a Ritz-Carlton hotel and a beach resort in the span of 18 days in October 2020.
"The defendant also was a regular connoisseur of sushi and steak on the taxpayer dime," prosecutors wrote in the sentencing memorandum.
"The defendant took advantage of the COVID crisis by spending fraudulently obtained taxpayer-backed funds on luxury items, while those who were truly entitled to the funds struggled to keep their businesses open and their employees paid," U.S. Attorney Jane Young said. Leavitt is due to be sentenced in March.