|PADUCAH, Ky – A Paducah man was sentenced on Tuesday, January 25, 2022, to 12 months in prison and an ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $7,500 for fraud related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to court documents, Javon A. Wiley, 20, filed fraudulent applications with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in order to receive Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funds, a CARES Act financial assistance program which provided loan assistance (including $10,000 advances) for small businesses and other eligible entities for loans up to $2 million. The EIDL proceeds could be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. Wiley received a $4,000 grant and $3,500 loan through the EIDL program from the SBA by applying for COVID-19 disaster relief funds for a car detailing business that he claimed to own. Law enforcement discovered, however, that this business did not actually exist, and that Wiley had provided false information to the SBA in order to obtain the funds. Wiley also attempted to obtain an additional $10,000 in COVID-19 relief funds by submitting an application to the SBA for a barber shop that also did not exist. In that application, Wiley claimed the fictitious barber shop employed ten workers in Paducah and requested a $1,000 grant for each employee. |
“With the assistance of our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, we will continue to identify, apprehend, and prosecute fraudsters who steal federal relief funds,” stated Michael A. Bennett, United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky. “Applicants in need and hardworking taxpayers who fund financial assistance programs deserve nothing less.” “This case should serve as a strong deterrent for criminal actors who are considering taking part in related fraud schemes.
The U.S. Secret Service, along with our local, state and federal law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate and arrest criminals who attempt to defraud our citizens and businesses.” said Robert Holman, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service – Louisville Field Office. The United States Secret Service investigated the case with the assistance of the Paducah Police Department and the SBA Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Raymond McGee prosecuted the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.
For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
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.