Miami, Florida – A federal grand jury in South Florida has charged a Coral Springs police officer with fraudulently asking the US Small Business Administration (“SBA”) for a COVID-19 relief advance and low-cost loan. interest rate.
According to the indictment unsealed today in federal district court, Jason Scott Carter, 44, of Boca Raton, submitted a fraudulent Economic Disaster Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) application and loan in the name of Jason S. Carter, Inc., a South Florida company he allegedly owned and operated. This request falsely and fraudulently certified, among other things, that during the twelve 12 months preceding January 31, 2020, the company had gross revenues of $100,000, according to the indictment. In reality, the company had only minimal gross revenues during this period. The indictment also charges Carter with falsely and fraudulently certifying that he would only use the funds for business expenses to mitigate the economic harm the COVID-19 pandemic has caused the company. In fact, according to the charges, Carter spent more than $21,000 of the SBA loan money on an auto repair and detailing business for luxury vehicles and high-end auto parts.
The indictment charges Carter with one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Carter made his first appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart. He was released on bail, pending trial.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Omar Perez Aybar, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office, and David Walker, Special Agent Agent in Charge, FBI Tampa, announced the charges.
The HHS-OIG, Miami (Tampa) Regional Office, and FBI Tampa investigated the matter. Assistant U.S. Attorney Will J. Rosenzweig is prosecuting the case. Assistant US Attorney Peter Laserna is handling the asset forfeiture.
The indictments contain mere allegations and the defendants are innocent unless and until found guilty by a court
In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was signed into law. It was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other sources of relief, the CARES Act authorized and provided funding for the SBA to provide Economic Disaster Loans (“EIDLs”) to eligible small businesses, including sole proprietorships and independent contractors, experiencing disruptions. significant financial resources due to the COVID-19 pandemic to enable them to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that might otherwise have been met had the disaster not occurred. EIDL applications were submitted directly to the SBA through the SBA’s online application website, and applications were processed and loans funded for eligible applicants directly by the SBA.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via NCDF’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Court documents and related information can be found on the District Court for the Southern District of Florida website at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.govunder file number 22-cr-80094.