Defense contractor charged for allegedly stealing more than $12.8M in PPP funds

A defense contractor in Hawaii has been charged with bank fraud and money laundering for stealing more than $12.8 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money. 

Martin Kao, CEO of Martin Defense Group LLC, previously known as Navatek LLC, is being arrested on two counts of bank fraud and five counts of money laundering. He is accused of at least two fraudulent PPP loan applications.

Out of the $12.8 million he received, Kao transferred more than $2 million into his own personal accounts, a criminal complaint said.

“According to the charges, Kao falsely inflated the number of employees on the loan application and falsely certified that the applicant and its affiliates would not receive, and had not received, another PPP loan,” the U.S. attorney’s office in Hawaii said in a statement.

The PPP is a program established by Congress in March that provides forgivable loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Kao is one of dozens of people who have been charged with fraudulently obtaining millions of dollars from the PPP through the program.

Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said last week that more than $3 billion in loans issued through the coronavirus emergency relief program for small businesses may have gone to firms that already received support or should have been excluded from the program.

Lawmakers are continuing to negotiate another coronavirus stimulus bill, which will likely at least partially replenish the PPP.

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4 Fresh Renovation Ideas We’re Stealing from the Newly Reimagined San Luis Creek Lodge

Designer Nina Freudenberger describes her first visit to the old San Luis Creek Lodge, located in downtown San Luis Obispo, California, as a step back in time—well, more of a leap. “There seemed to be a medieval theme,” she says, recalling the four-poster beds, gray stone fireplaces, and dark wood ceiling beams. “Everything felt so heavy.” 

Tasked by PRG Hospitality Group with redesigning the lobby and its three guest buildings, Freudenberger landed on a modern vision for the spaces that called for fresh wall treatments and major bathroom makeovers. Still, even amid all the new white paint, the designer didn’t lose the cozy lodge details. “I wanted to keep it warm, almost like a Danish farmhouse,” she says. All the inspiration you could possibly need for your very own reno is waiting in this newly reimagined getaway. 

Heavy Materials Can Be Cured With Paint

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Courtesy of San Luis Creek Lodge

Surprisingly, the designer decided to keep the stone fireplaces and ceiling beams (two features that looked like they belonged in a castle). To bring them into the 21st century, she painted virtually everything in Benjamin Moore’s Decorator’s White. “It was a really simple solution to what was happening,” she says of the budget-friendly choice. Before, the dark gray tones of the facade delineated it from the other elements in the room, but now it feels like it was always meant to be a part of the design.

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Photography by Jonny Valiant

“You don’t want to feel burdened by this idea of warmth,” the designer says of the former cabin-y aesthetic. “It shouldn’t feel physically heavy.” Handmade details, like geometric tiles crafted in Spain, exude that same sense of comfort.

Fine-Tune the Edges 

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Photography by Jonny Valiant

Freudenberger was strategic about introducing her accent color: black. “I

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