PITTSBURGH — As businesses were closing, workers were struggling to get unemployment and families waited in long lines for food bank donations, Randy Frasinelli was living large in the pandemic.
The Carnegie man bought a Ford Mustang, two Mercedes SUV’s, a BMW sedan, a Land Rover Defender, a Porsche Panamera, gold bars, silver coins, watches, works of art, firearms, jewelry, dined out, went on shopping sprees and spent freely on alcohol.
Frasinelli got the money from four Paycheck Protection Loans, a program created by the government to try to help businesses stay afloat in the pandemic and pay workers, mortgages and rents.
The problem? The four businesses Frasinelli cited in his loan applications don’t exist. He also falsified payroll records for non-existent employees, falsified tax records and other federal documents.
Frasinelli is now charged with bank fraud and money laundering and made an initial appearance Thursday before federal Magistrate Judge Maureen P. Kelly. He faces a preliminary hearing on April 28.
Between May and July 2020, Frasinelli fraudulently applied for and received a PPP loan for each of the four companies he said he owned: Grant-Williams Associates; Grant-Williams Global; Grant-Williams International and Grant-Williams Associates Corporation.
As federal investigators began digging into Frasinelli’s business dealings in February, they froze his four bank accounts with a cumulative total balance of $5,657.24. Authorities raided his home and other property and seized numerous vehicles and other possessions.
On Tuesday, they discovered that Frasinelli was able to receive a fifth PPP loan on March 13, 2021 in the amount of $1.34 million for a business in his own name. In loan documents, he said the money would be used to retain the jobs of 53 employees.
Cox Media Group