BOSTON (AP) — The owner of a Massachusetts food truck business has been sentenced to two years in prison for fraudulently obtaining about $1.5 million in federal COVID-19 pandemic relief loans — money that he used to invest in the stock market.

Loc Vo owned Smart Gourmet LLC, a food truck business in Massachusetts, as well as a company called Indy Publish, federal prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday

The Boston man submitted loan applications between April 2020 and July 2021 on behalf of the businesses under three Small Business Administration pandemic relief programs, requesting about $1.5 million that was intended to be used for rent, mortgage interest, payroll and utilities, among other eligible expenses, prosecutors said.

Loc, 56, then transferred most of the money to brokerage accounts in his own name so he could invest in several businesses, including an electric car manufacturer, an internet marketplace company and a biotechnology company, federal prosecutors said in a statement Wednesday.

A federal judge in Boston also sentenced Vo on Tuesday to two years of probation and ordered him to pay more than $1.5 in restitution and forfeiture. He was arrested in July 2022 and pleaded guilty to wire fraud in January.

He applied for the loans under the CARES Act enacted in March 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans struggling with the economic effects caused by the pandemic.

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