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Man faked death to avoid charges in COVID-19 stimulus fraud: feds

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A Massachusetts man accused of faking his own death to avoid being charged with defrauding the CARES Act has been indicted, federal prosecutors said.

David Adler Staveley, 53, of Andover, and his alleged co-conspirator, David Andrew Butziger, 52, of Warwick, Rhode Island, were the first people nationwide to be charged with fraudulently seeking Paycheck Protection Program loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island announced in May.

The pair is accused of trying to secure $543,959 in loans intended for small businesses struggling amid the pandemic by falsely claiming they had dozens of employees at four businesses, including three restaurants, although they actually employed no workers there, federal prosecutors said.

Staveley, who was arrested in May, then faked his own death by staging his suicide, complete with leaving notes for associates and in his car, which he left unlocked and parked near the Atlantic Ocean, federal prosecutors allege.

Staveley proceeded to travel through several states using false identities and stolen license plates before he was arrested by the US Marshals Service on July 23 in Alpharetta, Georgia.

Enacted in March, the CARES Act is designed to give emergency financial help to millions of Americans struggling with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paycheck Protection Program, as part of the CARES Act, allowed small business owners to receive loans to be used on payroll costs, mortgages, rent and utilities.

Staveley, also known as Kurt Davis Sanborn and David Sanborn, was indicted on counts of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to the influence the Small Business Administration, aggravated identity theft and failure to appear in court.

Butziger, meanwhile, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. His court date had not yet been set, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

Source: on 2020-09-04 11:00:00

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