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Garner man pulls off a $1.7 million scam using fake companies named after Game of Thrones references




Game of Thrones is a pop culture icon and finds its way to being referenced in the most creative ways in political speeches, other shows and films, and the sports arena. People are imaginative, and one particular scammer managed to scam the government using a plan that almost sounds outlandish and unbelievable. And this plan included Game of Thrones terms like Khaleesi, White Walkers and the Night’s Watch.

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Tristan Bishop Pan, 40, was sentenced to 20 months in prison after federal officials say he received $1.7 million in fraudulent COVID-19 relief funding. The man from Garner, North Carolina, submitted false Paycheck Protection Program loan applications designated for small businesses. He made false claims about companies he didn’t own and employees he didn’t have, according to federal court documents.


He named his companies using references to the popular HBO series Game of Thrones, including Westerosi terms like Khaleesi, White Walkers and the Night’s Watch. Federal officials said he also falsified tax filings to obtain the PPP loans. He pled guilty to submitting at least 14 false PPP loan applications.

U.S. Attorney Michael Francis Easley Jr. launched a new federal task force to go after people like Pan who obtain fraudulent COVID-19 relief funds. Easley said via WRAL that there were “networks” of criminals sharing ways to defraud the system during the pandemic.

The covid pandemic was already hard on all of us, and criminals like these taking advantage of the situation that too using the name of a popular TV show is ridiculous as well as disheartening. What do you think of the incident? Talk to us in the comments below!


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