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A previous worker of Starboard Group, a massive Wendy’s operator, alleges that the franchisee’s main executive diverted $1 million in Paycheck Protection Method loans to finance his property in Montana.

Sandi Adler, who was Starboard’s vice president of legal affairs and human assets, filed the complaint on June 30 under Florida’s whistleblower statute. She also alleges sexual harassment in the accommodate, submitted in condition court in Broward County.

The lawsuit alleges that Starboard obtained about $9 million in PPP loans. The franchisee operates 101 Wendy’s destinations across seven states and has 3,200 workers, in accordance to its website.

The federal software was created to enable struggling corporations with much less than 500 staff members, but big lodge and cafe chains gained exemptions after the coronavirus pandemic upended their industries. The speedy rollout of the application has elevated issues from the Government Accountability Business about fraud. In early May well, two New England gentlemen had been the first to be billed with scamming the program.

According to Adler’s accommodate, Starboard CEO Andrew Levy instructed her to list some of his personal personnel in Montana as company staff.

“The impact of this, in see of the PPP funding, was to defraud the United States and the Small Business enterprise Administration,” the complaint claimed.

Levy also allegedly purchased her to lie to collectors, suppliers, suppliers and landlords and explain to them Starboard couldn’t satisfy its fiscal commitments simply because it had not acquired PPP financial loans.

Adler’s outstanding Kevin Holbrook fired her on June 1 soon after she complained to him about Levy’s orders and techniques, in accordance to the go well with. The grievance also alleges that Holbrook sexually harassed Adler though she was an employee and Levy ignored her grievances about the actions.

Adler is searching for restitution for her missing wages and compensatory damages for “pain and struggling.”

Wendy’s did not instantly reply to a ask for for comment, and Starboard could not be achieved for comment. No just one answered the telephone at a variety mentioned for the enterprise and no email address is stated on its website.

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