Fort Myers businessman sentenced to three years in federal prison for COVID rescue fraud and mortgage fraud | USAO-MDFL

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Fort Myers, Florida – U.S. Senior District Judge John Steele sentenced Casey David Crowther (35, Fort Myers) to three years and one month in federal prison on two counts of bank fraud, two counts of false declaration to a credit institution, and two counts of money laundering. The court also ordered Crowther to confiscate $ 2,739,081.21, $ 630,482.37 and a 40-foot catamaran, which were the proceeds of Paycheck Protection Program (P3) fraud and payroll offenses. mortgage fraud.

At trial, a federal jury found Crowther guilty of committing bank fraud, making a false statement to a lending institution and two counts of money laundering on March 26, 2021, linked to a fraud scheme PPP. Before the trial began, Crowther pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and one count of misrepresenting at a financial institution, which were linked to a mortgage fraud scheme. As part of the mortgage fraud scheme, Crowther created fake bank statements to justify a loan he used to buy a nearly $ 1.3 million waterfront home in St. James City, in Florida.

According to evidence at trial, Crowther obtained a $ 2.1 million PPP loan by falsely stating that he intended to use the money to pay payroll and pay rent and utilities for his company. Target Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc. However, Crowther intended to use the money to get rich and, once the loan was secured, quickly used the proceeds to make a series of personal purchases including a boat. nearly $ 700,000 and a payment of $ 100,000 to a former business partner. Crowther covered up the scheme by providing false explanations for the expenses to his bank, calling the boat “equipment” and the payment to his former partner as “payroll”. Under the P3 program, Crowther did not have to repay the loan if he used at least 60% of the payroll proceeds. To falsely believe that he has reached this threshold, Crowther created dozens of bogus employees to whom he would have paid salaries: by adding several family members to his company’s payroll, even if they didn’t. not actually done any work; and, separately, by creating 39 other bogus employees, for whom he obtained false identification documents – including social security cards – which he provided to his company’s human resources to be placed in the files of “employees “.

This case was the subject of an investigation by the American secret services. He was prosecuted by Deputy United States Attorneys Trent Reichling and Michael V. Leeman. Assistant U.S. Attorney Suzanne Nebesky secured the confiscations.

Anyone with information about allegations of 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 the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form

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