Reduced Sentence in PPP Fraud Case
Our firm represents a number of people and small businesses who have been charged in federal PPP Loan Fraud cases. In this case, Attorney Page Pate represented Andrew Tezna, a former NASA senior executive, who was accused of fraudulently obtaining PPP loan funds in connection with three different businesses.
The Washington Post covered Mr. Tezna’s case and the recent outcome in federal court. At Mr. Tezna’s sentencing hearing, Page explained to the Court that prior to the fraud, Mr. Tezna “lived what appeared to be a quintessential American success story. His family came to the United States from Colombia when he was 13, living in an unfinished basement. As a teenager, he helped his mother build a residential cleaning business while taking English classes through Loudoun County and meeting his future wife. He earned a degree from George Mason University while working full time to pay for his housing and car. He went on to study accounting, and in six years at NASA, he rose to the executive level — a “dream job” that paid $181,000 a year.”
The prosecutor advised the Court that “Tezna used the funds to pay off over $140,000 on credit cards and $18,000 on a car loan, among other debts, while buying new cars and renewing a Disney timeshare,” and in Mr. Tezna’s sentencing memorandum, Page commented that “He . . . tends to overspend on his family.” In his own letter to the Court, Mr. Tezna explains that “It has taken for all of this to occur to finally admit it: I was bad at managing my finances and controlling expenses.”
After plea negotiations with the government, we were able to secure an agreement for Mr Tezna to enter a plea to agreed upon charges. In addition to insuring the accuracy of the charges and the presentence investigation report, our firm helped Mr. Tezna prepare for sentencing by submitting a detailed memorandum describing his many accomplishments and the effects of a lengthy prison sentence on his young family. We also prepared a short, impactful video of Mr. Tezna with his wife and children that the judge was able to view before the hearing. As a result, Mr. Tezna received a sentence that was less that the government wanted, and below the advisory sentencing guidelines.
Page Pate is an accomplished trial lawyer with over 25 years of experience in criminal defense, civil litigation, and whistleblower representation. Page is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, Top 100 Lawyers by The National Trial Lawyers, and named to the list of Super Lawyers for the past 15 consecutive years. Page is a frequent expert legal analyst for local and national media and has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Law School. Read Page’s reviews on AVVO. Follow Page on Twitter @pagepate and on Linkedin.