MACOMB TOWNSHIP, MI – Michigan’s co-founder of pizza chain Passport Pizza was sentenced to 32 months in prison after pleading guilty of bank fraud last year. According to the Associated Press, Mike Bischoff, 61, was accused by prosecutors of attempting to secure more than $ 900,000 in federal loans offered last year as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the program, Bischoff misrepresented his wage bill and the number of employees in his various restaurants. Bischoff received approximately $ 594,000 in loans from lenders as part of his plan, but attorney James Thomas says the money has already been repaid.
As part of his sentence, Bischoff is also served three years of supervised release and fined $ 5,000.
Thomas acknowledged that his client “cheated” during what he called what he called a stressful period of his life, and said the effects of the case will affect Bischoff’s ability to attract future investors. According to court files, the federal prosecutor’s office requested a 41-month prison sentence.
“A defendant willing to use a program designed to help keep our economy afloat during a pandemic deserves a heavy sentence,” the file reads.
Passport Pizza operates multiple locations in Macomb, Oakland, and St. Clair Counties, according to the company’s website.
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