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Southern California man pleads guilty to bomb threats after Covid relief denials

The small business owner made more threats even after he had been confronted by law enforcement and agreed to stop.

LOS ANGELES (CN) — A Southern California man pleaded guilty to making bomb threats against Small Business Administration locations after he was denied a Covid-19 emergency loan — and threatening to beat in the skulls of SBA employees.

Christopher Antoun, 30, faces as long as five years in federal prison at his sentencing in May, according to a statement Friday by the U.S. attorney's office in Los Angeles.

Antoun ran Federal Student Loan Consulting out of his home in Lakewood, California. In early 2020 he requested a Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan from the SBA. When his request was denied, he sent an email to the SBA saying it wasn't up to them to decide whether he was entitled to the loan.

"YOU MOTHER FUCKERS OWE ME $1000 AND I WANT IT RIGHT FUKING NOW," Antoun wrote in the May 3, 2020, email. "IT GOES INTO MY BANK ACCOUNT TONIGHT OR I START BOMBING EVERY LOCATION OWNED BY THE SBA."

When law enforcement went to Antoun's home a week later, he told them that he had been drunk and high on marijuana when he sent the email and that he had no intent to carry out his threat. Antoun also said he wouldn't make any further threats to government agencies.

The following year, Antoun again ran into difficulties obtaining SBA-backed loans and loan advances. This time, he sent emails to 15 SBA employees saying he didn't care about the money anymore and wanted to make them suffer.

"Within the next hour I'm getting picked up and dropped off at the LA district office," he said in the Nov. 17, 2021, email. "Im gonna walk in with my nice shiny bat. Im gonna start beating the skulls of SBA staff in. Once the police or whoever it is eventually stops me im going to go to jail. But im almost positive the story will make the news."

Authorities arrested Antoun a few days later. In February, a federal judge denied him bail, saying there was no condition or combination of conditions that would guarantee Antoun would show up for his court dates and guarantee the safety of the community.

His attorney declined to comment on the guilty plea.

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