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Pizzeria owner ‘used $660,000 in Covid funds to buy alpacas and cars’

Dana McIntyre, left, allegedly used illegally obtained Covid-19 relief funds to buy alpacas and cars (Pictures: Facebook/Hemmings)

A former pizza shop owner allegedly used federal coronavirus relief funds that he illegally obtained to buy an alpaca farm and cars. Dana McIntyre, 57, apparently got a loan amounting to more than $660,000 by lying about the number of employees at his Rasta Pasta Pizzeria.

On his April 2020 application for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan, McIntyre allegedly reported having about 50 employees, according to the US attorney’s office in Boston. However, business records reflected he did not even have 10 employees at the pizza establishment in Beverly, Massachusetts, at the time he applied, prosecutors said on Tuesday.

Once he received the payout, McIntyre sold the pizza parlor and moved to Vermont where he allegedly used the loan to buy several alpacas, a farm and at least two cars, according to prosecutors. One of the vehicles was a 1950 Hudson. He also used the funds to buy airtime for a cryptocurrency radio show he hosted on a weekly basis.

McIntyre, of Grafton, Vermont, was arrested on Tuesday and was charged with money laundering and wire fraud. He was expected to appear in US District Court remotely the same day.

‘My client denies the allegation and will have further comment at a later date,’ McIntyre’s lawyer Jason Stelmack said in a statement on Tuesday.

McIntyre faces up to 40 years behind bars and $750,000 fines if he is convicted of both charges.

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