Who is Rudolph Brooks Jr? Maryland pastor bought 39 cars including Tesla with fraudulent $3.5M Covid PPP loans
The pastor purchased multiple luxury cars and even put a deposit on a home using the fraudulent funds
Rudoplh Brooks Jr, a Maryland pastor, is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison after he used "$3.5 million in Covid PPP loans to buy Tesla", the FBI said. As per authorities, he used the fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program funds to purchase 39 cars, including a Bentley, a Mercedes and a Tesla.
Authorities have also seized $2.2 million from his bank accounts. The pastor is the founder of Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries and also owns a few other businesses, all of which he used to file the loan claims and acquire the funds.
Who is Pastor Rudolph E Brooks?
As per the Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries, Inc website, Brooks Jr is the founder and senior pastor of the ministry based out of Washington DC. It also states that he knew he was destined to be a preacher early on in life, stating that "he had a calling for ministry".
The website also mentions that he has an "intense love for the Lord, relentless spirit and ability to tap into the very heart of God make him a memorable speaker". He is also supposed to be a lively and memorable preacher who can "hold even the skeptics' attention".
According to an article by The Sun, Brooks filed for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan on April 7, 2020, and around a month later, on May 9, he applied for PPP loans under his business, Car Direct. However, the said business was 'forfeited' in 2012 only to be revived on May 28, 2020.
As reported by Daily Beast, the car and bank accounts were seized after the pastor made fraudulent applications to the Paycheck Protection Program for $3.5 million. He allegedly submitted PPP loan applications for $1.5 million, $1.8 million, and $200,000 and filed them under three of his companies -- Cars Direct, Kingdom Tabernacle, and Madaro Celtic Bank. He also used faked tax and payroll forms to secure the funds, none of which were filed with the IRS.
What did he do with the money?
Upon receiving the money, he allegedly transferred it to 11 different bank accounts, all of which were his. Brooks received $1,556,589 on May 9, after which he opened another bank account and transferred $500,000.
Authorities say he then used it to buy restaurant meals, grocery, instruments and even paid off his credit card bills and loans with the money. He also purchased a 2018 Tesla Model 3, which costs $60,000 and put down a $10,000 deposit on a home.
He also allegedly purchased a number of 'older model luxury vehicles', such as a 2005 Bentley Continental, a 2014 GMC Yukon XL, a 2015 Cadillac Escalade, two 2017 Infinity Q50s and a 2017 Mercedes Benz S Class.
Federal authorities have seized over $2.29 million from the 11 accounts as well as the Tesla Model 3. He currently faces charges for wire fraud in connection with the alleged PPP fraud. As per the Department of Justice, if convicted, Brooks could face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, along with three years of supervised release.