Former University of Maine football player Jacob Hennie agreed to pay $228,338 to settle a civil fraud case in which he’s accused of fraudulently obtaining federal loans, federal prosecutors said.

UMaine football player Jacob Hennie Credit: Courtesy of UMaine Athletics

Hennie, a current UMaine graduate student and former wide receiver-punt returner, is accused of fraudulently obtaining three federal COVID-19 aid loans, including two through the Paycheck Protection Program, for which he received forgiveness from the federal government.

In February 2021, Hennie received a first-draw PPP loan for $18,625 on alleged misrepresentations in the loan applications. He then got a second-draw PPP loan for $20,833 based on alleged misrepresentations related to fictitious business expenses.

He also falsely claimed to operate a business with nine employees to receive a $9,000 COVID-19 Economic Injury and Disaster Loan Emergency Advance in July 2020, according to a federal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine on April 14.

He received forgiveness on both PPP loans through allegedly misrepresenting how the loan funds were used.

The complaint against him falls under the jurisdiction of the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act.

The False Claims Act states that any person who “knowingly presents, or causes to be presented a false or fraudulent claim” is liable to the United States for three times the amount of damages which the United States sustains, plus a civil penalty for each violation. The minimum penalty is $13,508.

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act allows the Attorney General to recover civil penalties against those who knowingly make a false statement to influence a decision by the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The maximum penalty per violation is $2,372,677.

Hennie, a native of Rancho Cucamonga, California, played four seasons at UMaine from 2019-22 after transferring from the Mt. San Antonio College. He began his college career at the University of New Mexico, where he spent a redshirt year.