A Los Angeles man was arrested for defrauding the government out of more than $8.5 million in paycheck protection loans, which were spent at a Las Vegas casino and on stock-market bets, the Department of Justice announced.

Andrew Marnell, 40, was charged with one count of bank fraud, the DOJ said Thursday.

The complaint against Marnell alleges he obtained the loans through applications to insured financial institutions on behalf of a series of different companies. In those applications, Marnell allegedly made “numerous false and misleading statements” about the companies’ business operations and payroll expenses.

The DOJ also alleged Marnell used aliases and submitted fake and altered documents, which included fake federal tax filings and employee payroll records. 

Marnell allegedly transferred the funds to his brokerage account, which he then used to make “risky stock-market” bets. He also spent “hundreds of thousands of dollars” from the loans at a Las Vegas casino, DOJ said.

The paycheck protection loans were designed for small businesses, with fewer than 501 employees  impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The loans were funded under the CARES Act to encourage small businesses to retain their employees and pay other expenses during the economic shutdown. More than $500 billion in loans were distributed.

More than 3.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the U.S., along with more than 138,000 deaths from COVID-19, according to John Hopkins University.