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Man arrested over violent threats made to federal employees after Covid relief denial

Federal authorities say Christopher Joseph Antoun, 29, first threatened to bomb a federal office then threatened to beat federal employees with a bat after twice being denied Covid relief from the Small Business Administration.

(CN) — Authorities arrested a Southern California man over the weekend on charges of threatening to bomb the district office of the U.S Small Business Administration and threatening to assault employees of the office a year later after he was unable to obtain a Covid emergency business loan.

Christopher Joseph Antoun, 29 faces one count of making threats by interstate communication. He appeared in court on Monday, where a federal judge denied bail.

According to an affidavit attached to the complaint, Antoun owns Federal Student Loan Consulting, which he runs out of his house in the LA suburb of Lakewood. Antoun applied for a Covid-19 emergency injury disaster loan from the federal government in 2020, and when months went by and he had not received the loan, he wrote an email to an account monitored by Small Business Administration employees.

“IT GOES INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT OR I START BOMBING EVERY LOCATION OWNED BY THE SBA," the email said, according to the affidavit.

Police let Antoun off with a warning after he acknowledged being "high on marijuana and drunk on alcohol when he sent the threatening email, and that he had no intent to actually carry out the threat," according to the affidavit. He acknowledged sending the email but said he had "no intent to actually carry out the threat." Authorities searched his house and found no explosives.

Antoun again tried to obtain a Covid relief loan in 2021 and he was unable to do so. This past week, he emailed a number of SBA employees and email accounts, writing: "i dont care about the money anymore. You clearly arent going to give it to me even tho YOURE [sic] SUPPOSED TO SINCE I LEGALLY QUALIFY! But fuck it." He threatened to visit an SBA office in downtown LA with his "nice shiny bat" and beat "the skulls of SBA staff in," according to the affidavit.

"[E]ven if I never get the money and I end up going to jail for the next few years ill be happy," Antoun wrote, according to the affidavit. "Happy knowing that you mother fuckers are finally about to start suffering some consequences."

No SBA employees were assaulted.

If convicted, Antoun faces a maximum of five years in federal prison.

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