Man denied loans accused of threatening to ‘start bombing’ Small Business Administration offices, ‘beating' staff
A California man denied loans is accused of making threats to bomb a Small Business Administration office and assault employees at the agency, federal prosecutors said.
On Nov. 22, authorities arrested 29-year-old Christopher Joseph Antoun of Lakewood, California, on one count of making threats by interstate communication.
According to a criminal complaint affidavit, Antoun is the owner of Federal Student Loan Consulting, LLC. In early 2020, he allegedly attempted to get a COVID-19 Emergency Injury Disaster Loan for his business.
Antoun’s application was denied, and on May 3, 2020, “after he failed to receive approval for an EIDL loan or an advance from the SBA, Antoun allegedly sent an email to an SBA-monitored email account and wrote, in part, ‘IT GOES INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT OR I START BOMBING EVERY LOCATION OWNED BY THE SBA,’” federal prosecutors claimed.
The email was then flagged by an SBA officer in Texas, who contacted law enforcement, the affidavit states.
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“Law enforcement visited Antoun at his residence, where he said he was high on marijuana and drunk on alcohol when he sent the threatening email and had no intent of carrying out the threat, and law enforcement later gave him a warning,” prosecutors said, citing the affidavit.
During the summer and fall of 2021, Antoun tried again to apply for SBA-backed loans and advances.
“Following difficulty in obtaining the loans and advances, Antoun on November 19 allegedly sent an email to several SBA employees,” prosecutors alleged the affidavit states. “In that email, Antoun threatened to walk into the SBA’s Los Angeles district office ‘with my nice shiny bat’ and ‘start beating the skulls of SBA staff in. Once the police or whoever it is eventually stops me im [sic] going to go to jail.’”
Antoun is being held without bond and is scheduled to be arraigned on Dec. 10. He faces up to a maximum five years in federal prison if convicted of the charge.
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