Government records show that Enrique Tarrio, chairman of the far-right Proud Boys group, received two federal government-backed paycheck protection program (PPP) loans worth a total of $15,500, the Guardian can reveal.
Tarrio, based in Miami, Florida, was approved for an initial loan of $7,750 on 30 March, and a succeeding loan for the same amount on 16 April. The loans were issued to Henry Tarrio, an anglicized form of his name which he has used on other occasions.
The Proud Boys began as an organization protesting against political correctness and boosting their idea of masculinity and grew into a rightwing group that embraced street fighting. Earlier this year, Canada named it as a terrorist entity. It is seen as having played an important role in the 6 January attack on the Capitol in Washington DC.
In the loan documentation, which was obtained by the news non-profit ProPublica, after a Freedom of Information Act battle with the Small Business Administration, Tarrio is described as an independent contractor, working in the “Security Systems Services” industry, but the document names no associated business entity.
Additional information provided to the Guardian by ProPublica shows that the street address on the loan application is associated with both Tarrio and one of the LLCs for which he is named as an officer in Florida state records.
Those records show Tarrio as an officer in a number of inactive LLCs, including “SPIE Security LLC”, “Fund The West LLC” and “Proud Boys LLC”.
In a questionnaire he completed for the Ballotpedia website in the course of an abortive 2020 congressional run, Tarrio described himself as the proprietor of “several companies that were involved in the surveillance and security industry”.
However, Tarrio was not found to be a licensed security officer in a search of Florida state records.