Oct 8, 2021 - Politics & Policy

First person charged with COVID relief loan fraud sentenced to prison

Photo Illustration of U.S currency. Photo by Igor Golovniov/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The first person charged with fraudulently seeking pandemic relief loans was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison on Thursday, according to the Justice Department.

Why it matters: The DOJ has increasingly cracked down on fraud stemming from the Paycheck Protection Program. Over 500 people have been charged with pandemic loan fraud, per Reuters.

David Staveley from Massachusetts along with David Butziger of Rhode Island filed four fraudulent PPP loan applications.

  • They requested over $543,000 for three restaurants and a company called Dock wireless. The applications falsely claimed that they owned these businesses.
  • After being arrested in May, Staveley staged his own suicide and fled before being apprehended in Georgia.

What's next: Butziger is scheduled to be sentenced on November 1st, per the DOJ.

Go deeper: Prosecutors bring COVID-related fraud charges against bank employees

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