Lakewood man arrested over federal complaint alleging he threatened to bomb SBA offices and assault agency employees
LOS ANGELES – A Lakewood man was arrested in connection with a federal criminal complaint filed today, alleging that he threatened to bomb the offices of the Small Business Administration (SBA) and then, the following year, to assaulting SBA employees in response to its inability to obtain COVID-19 emergency business loans.
Christopher Joseph Antoun, 29, was arrested on Saturday following a complaint accusing him of making threats through interstate communication. He first appeared this afternoon in downtown Los Angeles United States District Court, where he was sentenced to jail without bail. His court appearance is scheduled for December 10.
According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Antoun is the owner of Federal Student Loan Consulting LLC, a business he runs from his Lakewood home. In early 2020, Antoun attempted to secure a COVID-19 Emergency Natural Disaster Loan (EIDL). These loans provide accessible and user-friendly capital to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 3, 2020, after failing to get approval for an EIDL loan or SBA advance, Antoun allegedly emailed an SBA-monitored email account and wrote, in part: “IT GOES TO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT WHEN I START BOMBARDING EVERY SBA OWNED SITE. An SBA loan officer in Texas received Antoun’s email and contacted law enforcement, according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement visited Antoun at his residence, where he said he was drunk on alcohol and marijuana when he sent the threatening email and had no intention of putting the threat to execution, and law enforcement subsequently gave him a warning, according to the affidavit.
During the summer and fall of 2021, Antoun again attempted to secure SBA-backed loans and loan advances. Following difficulties in obtaining the loans and advances, Antoun reportedly emailed several SBA employees on November 19. In that email, Antoun threatened to walk into the SBA district office in Los Angeles “with my beautiful shiny bat” and “start hitting the skulls of SBA staff. [sic] go to jail, ”the affidavit states.
If convicted, Antoun would face a legal maximum sentence of five years in federal prison.
A complaint contains allegations that an accused has committed a crime. Anyone accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The US Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Protective Service investigated the case.
Assistant United States Attorney Jason C. Pang of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering and Racketeering Section is pursuing this case.