Lakewood man arrested on suspicion of threatening to bomb Small Business Administration offices and assault agency employees with a bat after failing to secure emergency business loans COVID-19, officials said on Monday.
The two threats were emailed to the U.S. agency more than a year apart, each time after 29-year-old Christopher Joseph Antoun was denied permission to obtain a loan from the United States. COVID-19 emergency disaster, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California.
In the first email sent on May 3, 2020, Antoun wrote, “This goes to my bank account tonight or I start bombing all SBA-owned locations,” according to the criminal complaint.
A Texas loan officer saw the email and contacted law enforcement.
Officers attended Antoun’s home, where he told them he was drunk on marijuana and drunk on alcohol when he sent the email, and that he had no intention of putting his threat to execution. Law enforcement did not find any firearms or explosives and left him a warning, according to the affidavit.
Last week, Antoun reportedly sent another threatening email to the agency.
“Within an hour, I am picked up and dropped off at the LA district office. I will come in with my beautiful shiny bat. I’m going to start hitting the skulls of the SBA staff, ”the email read, according to the complaint. “Once the police or whoever stops me, I’m going to go to jail.”
He had again attempted to obtain loans and loan advances guaranteed by the SBA and had had difficulty obtaining them, according to the Department of Justice.
The man owns Federal Student Loan Consulting LLC, a business he runs from his Lakewood home, and was trying to secure loans that were being given to small businesses affected by the pandemic, officials said.
Antoun was arrested on Saturday following a complaint accusing him of making threats through interstate communication.
He first appeared in downtown Los Angeles US District Court on Monday, where he was ordered to remain in jail without bail.
If convicted of the charges, Antoun could face a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. His court appearance is scheduled for December 10.
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