Buying alpaca farm with Covid ‘Paycheck Protection’ $$ gets Grafton man two-year stretch

Massachusetts pizzeria owner also bought air-time for his cryptocurrency radio show

A Grafton alpaca farm owner and Beverly, MA pizzeria operator was sentenced August 24 to two years in federal prison for filing fraudulent applications for more than $660,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds and then using those funds for personal expenses, including the purchase of an alpaca farm.

Dana L. McIntyre, 59, pleaded guilty in federal court in Massachusetts this spring to four counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Last week’s sentence also requires him to pay $680,000 in restitution and serve three years in supervised release.

McIntyre was arrested and charged by criminal complaint and later indicted by a federal grand jury in May 2021.

McIntyre is the former owner of Rasta Pasta Pizzeria in Beverly. In March 2020, McIntyre used the names of his adult children to submit two fraudulent applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for fictitious businesses. Beginning in April 2020, McIntyre submitted an application and weekly certifications in order to receive Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits. In these filings, McIntyre falsely claimed that he was not working or receiving income as a result of the pandemic, while McIntyre in fact was still operating the restaurant and paying himself income from the business. By September 2020, when McIntyre sold the restaurant, he had received over $17,000 in PUA and related benefits that he was not entitled to receive.

In April 2020, McIntyre submitted a fraudulent application for a PPP loan of over $660,000 through an SBA-approved lender. In the application, McIntyre inflated information about the pizzeria’s employees and payroll expenses and falsified an official tax form in an effort to qualify the business for a larger loan amount. After receiving a PPP loan of over $660,000, McIntyre sold the pizzeria and used nearly all the funds to purchase and improve an alpaca farm in Vermont and on other personal expenses, including two vehicles and air time for his crypto-currency themed radio show.

Categories: Covid-19, Crime