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Charlotte man sentenced for defrauding SBA of $800K+

Dino Crnalic will spend more than four years in federal prison.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A Charlotte man who pleaded guilty to defrauding the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and others out of hundreds of thousands of dollars in federally-insured loans will now spend more than four years in federal prison.

36-year-old Dino Crnalic was sentenced to 51 months behind bars Friday by U.S. District Judge Max O. Cogburn Jr. Crnalic is also ordered to pay back more than $910,000 in restitution and to serve two years under court supervision upon his release.

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The Department of Justice said Crnalic executed his scheme from July 2017 through November 2019, obtaining the SBA-backed loans and additional financing from federally-backed institutions under the guise of helping his businesses like the Suki Akor restaurant and Surge Fitness Centers. 

Court records show he submitted fraudulent loan documents and made false statements about the purpose of the financing. In reality, Crnalic used the funds to pay for personal expenses, including trips to different casinos.

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Crnalic pleaded guilty in April 2021 to two counts of financial institution fraud, concealment of money laundering, making a false statement to a bank in connection with a loan, and wire fraud.

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