Sketchy Virginia SBA Loan Brokers Indicted

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Ronald A. Smith and Terri Beth Miller, owners of Virginia-based Business Development Group (BDG), an SBA loan brokerage, were indicted this month over an advance-fee scheme in which many customers are alleged to have paid money to obtain SBA loans but did not in fact get them.

As part of the scheme, defendants are alleged to have made many false and misleading representations to prospective borrowers including that:

  • BDG was a large, multi-state company
  • BDG was headquartered at the Trump Building in New York City and had an additional business in Las Vegas
  • BDG has assisted certain named companies in obtaining SBA loans
  • BDG was a business established in 2005 or earlier
  • BDG was affiliated with the SBA
  • BDG had relationships with banks across the nation that allowed it to facilitate the loan approval process with SBA lenders in a customer’s area by utilizing a “Lender Linker” made up of the most preferred SBA lenders in the country
  • BDG had a program that included a “Powerful Online Grant Writer Interface Service” that was directly connected to the federal government and “handled everything from A to Z in Finding, Writing, Submitting and Securing Grants”
  • BDG offered a money back guarantee
  • BDG won the 2016 Best of Manhattan Business Award for Business Development Software and Services

BDG was really just an internet-based business whose goal was to obtain money through fraudulent pretenses and promises, prosecutors contend.

A copy of the grand jury indictment can be obtained here.

Last modified: August 26, 2020

Category: Business Lending, Legal Briefs


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