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A Maryland pastor has been charged with wire fraud after federal authorities alleged that he used $1.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans to buy 39 cars, including a Tesla, and property in Baltimore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Maryland said in a news release.

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Rudolph Brooks Jr. is accused of applying for the loans using a car dealership he had owned for two years. The business closed in 2012 but he applied for the PPP loans on May 9, 2020, The Washington Post reported.

He reopened the dealership on May 28, 2020, two months after Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES).

Money from the act must be used for payroll, mortgage interest, rent or utilities, WJZ reported.

Officials said he used fraudulent business tax forms for the application.

He claimed he paid $724,469 in taxes according to a fake 1099-MISC form and $7,471,630 in unemployment payments to employees, WJZ reported.

Once the loan was approved, he moved the money to his personal bank account to buy dozens of used vehicles, the Post reported.

The vehicles included:

  • 2017 Mercedes-Benz S-Class
  • 2, 2017 Infinity Q50s
  • 2015 Cadillac Escalade
  • 2005 Bentley Continental
  • 20014 GMC Yukon XL
  • 2018 Tesla Model 3

Federal officials said he also had two wire transfers totaling more than $145,000 that went to a title company for the purchase of a property in Baltimore.

Brooks also used the money to pay credit card bills, at restaurants, stores and grocery stores, WJZ reported.

He also is accused of applying for two additional PPP loans.

Officials seized more than $2.2 million from multiple bank accounts and the Tesla, WJZ reported.

Brooks is the founder and pastor of Kingdom Tabernacle of Restoration Ministries.

If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.