A Lakewood man accused of threatening to bomb Small Business Administration offices and beat employees with a bat in response to his inability to obtain COVID-19 emergency business loans was ordered jailed today pending trial.
Christopher Joseph Antoun, 29, was arrested Saturday on a federal complaint charging him with one count of making threats by interstate communication. He made his initial appearance Monday in federal court in downtown Los Angeles, where he was ordered jailed without bond. Arraignment is scheduled for Dec. 10, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Antoun–who owns Federal Student Loan Consulting LLC, a company he runs out of his Lakewood residence–attempted to obtain a COVID-19 Emergency Injury Disaster Loan early last year, court papers show.
The loans provide borrower-friendly capital to small businesses impacted by the pandemic.
On May 3 last year, after he failed to receive approval for an EIDL loan or an advance from the SBA, Antoun allegedly sent an email to an SBA-monitored email account and wrote, in part, “IT GOES INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT OR I START BOMBING EVERY LOCATION OWNED BY THE SBA,” federal prosecutors allege.
An SBA loan officer in Texas received the email and contacted law enforcement, according to an affidavit.
Prosecutors said that when law enforcement interviewed Antoun at his home, he said he was high on marijuana and drunk on alcohol when he sent the threatening email and had no intention of carrying out the threat.
Antoun was given a warning, according to the affidavit.
But during the summer and fall of this year, Antoun again attempted to obtain SBA-backed loans and loan advances. Following difficulty in obtaining the loans and advances, Antoun on Friday allegedly sent an email to several SBA employees.
In that email, Antoun threatened to walk into the SBA’s Los Angeles district office “with my nice shiny bat” and “start beating the skulls of SBA staff in. Once the police or whoever it is eventually stops me im (sic) going to go to jail,” the affidavit states.
A call to a federal public defender listed as Antoun’s attorney was not answered.
If convicted, Antoun would face up to five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.