San Simeon CSD manager’s questionable PPP loan raises concerns

Charles Grace

By KAREN VELIE

San Simeon Community Services District Manager Charles Grace took two payments totaling more than $200,000 in the first round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) money. But the workers he claimed in one program application were contractors and not employees and not supposed to be eligible.

One of Grace’s applications lists Grace Environmental Services, LLC, as the company seeking funds. The other lists Grace Environmental Services. Both of the companies had the same private address in Thousand Oaks, as the business address.

In the two applications, Grace claimed that each company had seven employees.

On July 27, the SBA approved $101,000 in PPP funds for Grace Environmental Services LLC. In his application, Grace listed the business as a sole proprietorship.

On Aug. 7, the SBA approved $104,286 in PPP funds for Grace Environmental Services. In this application, Grace listed the business type as self-employed individuals.

The primary purpose of PPP loans is to help businesses retain their existing staff. Businesses who use the funds legitimately may be eligible for 100 percent forgiveness.

After discovering Grace’s two first round PPP loans, activist Julie Tacker reported the issue to the U.S Office of the Inspector General. They have not yet responded.

“These are essential workers and were not at risk of losing their jobs,” Tacker said. “Grace has previously misrepresented the facts in grant applications and I am not surprised he would play with the facts again.”

Neither Grace nor the San Simeon CSD Board responded to questions regarding the PPP loans nor their practice of using contract employees to run a government office.

CalCoastNews is scouring PPP money reports. If you have any information on possible issues with PPP loans, please contact Karen Velie at (805) 234-1703 or velieslo@gmail.com.

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