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SC company with an obscenity in its name gets federal COVID-19 loan

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A South Carolina company with a questionable name recently received $18,125 from the federal government's forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loan fund. File/AP

A South Carolina corporation with an anti-establishment moniker might have lived up to its name with a forgivable taxpayer loan meant to keep small businesses afloat during the pandemic.

The Piedmont company, which calls itself (Expletive) the System LLC, received $18,125 from the U.S. government on May 12, according to a database of federal Payroll Protection Program loans.

The loan was granted just 1½ months after the company was formed, according to business registration records kept by the S.C. Secretary of State.

PPP loans were supposed to be available only to businesses that were in operation as of Feb. 15, 2020, when the coronavirus started sweeping through the United States.

The S.C. Secretary of State has little information about the borrower other than its name, address and the name of its sole organizer and registered agent — Silvester Van Taylor Jr.

Renee Daggerhart, spokeswoman for the agency, said the company followed the letter of the law in registering with the office. That law, she said, doesn't allow names to be rejected if they contain profanity.

Taylor could not be reached for comment. A message left at the telephone number associated with his company's address was not returned, and a person claiming to be Greenville resident Silvester Taylor on Facebook did not respond to a message. 

Loan documents provide a little more background on the company. The business said it's in the family clothing business, although an internet search did not turn up any clothing stores with that name in the Greenville area.

The company has one employee — presumably Taylor — and the loan proceeds were used to pay that worker's salary.

The company obtained the loan through Prestamos CDFI, a Phoenix-based community development financial institution that historically has served Hispanics and other minority groups.

The federal PPP loan program gave Prestamos a new focus — it is now the third-largest PPP lender in the nation, behind industry giants Chase and Bank of America. So far this year, Prestamos has obtained approvals for more than 494,000 loans topping $7.6 billion.

Prestamos did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment.

Little public information is available about Taylor. His Piedmont company is the only business he has registered in South Carolina, according to the Secretary of State's online database.

Upstate court records show a man with the same name pleaded guilty in 2017 and 2019 to charges of unlawful carrying of a pistol and in 2019 to marijuana possession. A charge of unlawful carrying of a pistol that was filed in February is pending.

Real estate records show the address where the PPP loan recipient is registered is a 31-year-old Fleetwood mobile home that was last sold in 2006. Taylor isn't the owner of the property. His landlord could not be reached for comment.

To date, Taylor's company has not been accused of any wrongdoing. It was recently featured in a New York City television station report about PPP borrowers with crude names.

In that report, a spokesman for the U.S. Small Business Administration, which oversaw the loan program, said the agency left it up to private lenders to determine whether applicants legitimately qualified for the aid.

An audit by the SBA's inspector general has raised concerns that thousands of companies may have registered with the government solely to take advantage of the PPP loans.

The loans can be forgiven upon the request of a recipient if the money was used to cover payroll, rent, utilities or mortgage interest costs.

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Reach David Wren at 843-937-5550 or on Twitter at @David_Wren_