Cop-hating protester accused of defrauding COVID-19 relief loan program

Cop-hating protester accused of defrauding COVID-19 relief loan program

October 8, 2020

A cop-hating protester accused of trying to cut the brake line of an NYPD van faces a new fraud case for lying about owning a car wash business to get COVID-19 relief funds, Brooklyn federal prosecutors announced Thursday.

Jeremy Trapp, 24, allegedly applied for an interest-free loan and grant from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program in June, claiming he owned a car wash business that employed 10 people and had pre-pandemic revenue of $150,000, court records show.

The Small Business Administration approved a $42,500 loan and a $10,000 grant, depositing the cash into Trapp’s bank account, prosecutors said.

“As alleged, Trapp filed an application containing outright lies in order to steal government funds intended to help small businesses and their employees survive the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Acting US Attorney Seth DuCharme. “The Department of Justice will ensure that taxpayer and pandemic relief funds are not misappropriated.”

After Trapp was arrested for allegedly sabotaging an NYPD van in July, investigators discovered the alleged financial fraud. The address he had listed for the phantom business was his Brooklyn apartment in a residential building. He doesn’t own or operate a car wash or have any employees, prosecutors said.

He has been locked up since he was charged with crawling under an unmanned police van parked in Sunset Park and snipping a line for the wheel speed sensor — all while a paid informant and undercover cops videotaped the sabotage.

He had intended to sever the brake line — but the damage to the wheel speed sensor could have had devastating consequences by interfering with the driver’s ability to maintain control of the compromised vehicle, officials said.

Trapp also faces charges in state court for the incident.

During meetings with the paid informant, Trapp allegedly advocated violence, arguing that the demonstrations were too peaceful to be effective. He suggested blowing up the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge so that “white supremacists” from Staten Island couldn’t use it.

The pair even visited the site to conduct reconnaissance, snapping pictures of the bridge.

Trapp’s lawyer, Ashley Burrell, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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