Rochester man accused of leading the charge in the assault on the United States Capitol on January 6 received a pandemic payday loan to protect his small business, a database reveals.
Dominic Pezzola, 43, member of the far-right Proud Boys, faces 11 counts, including conspiracy and assault on a law enforcement officer after a crowd of Trump supporters walked past Capitol Hill as lawmakers certified the results of the presidential election.
According to ProPublica’s coronavirus rescue database, Pezzola applied for and received $ 12,502 from the Small Business Administration through the Paycheck Protection Program to help protect two jobs at his construction company, D Pezzola Flooring.
The loan was approved on April 28, 2020 and administered by ESL Federal Credit Union.
Pezzola is being held without bail pending the outcome of his trial after US District Judge Timothy Kelly ruled Pezzola “was the tip of a spear that pierced the United States Capitol.”
The evidence shows that Pezzola came to Washington “as a key member of a larger conspiracy to effectively steal one of our nation’s crown jewels: the peaceful transition of power,” Kelly wrote.
Pezzola had “honorable intentions, believing he was protecting his country from a ‘stolen election’ by corrupt powers, “his lawyer wrote. The former Marine is accused of using a Capitol Police riot shield to smash a window exterior, allowing unhindered access to the interior of the building for rioters.
Jonathan Zucker, Pezzola’s lawyer, argued that his client was not a danger to society because he had no history of violent or criminal behavior. Zucker said Pezzola had limited involvement with the Proud Boys, a white national political organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Law Poverty Center.
Pezzola is one of at least nine people indicted in the Capitol riots who received government loans to help their small businesses during the pandemic, aaccording to The Daily Beast, who first reported this update from Pezzola. In total, these individuals received over $ 227,000.
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