A Man from Bowie County Indicted for 5 Million U.S. Dollars COVID-19 Relief Fraud

A Man from Bowie County Indicted for 5 Million U.S. Dollars COVID-19 Relief Fraud

The Accused Generated the Names Through A Publicly Available Random Name Generator on The Web Which He Copied and Claimed Them as His Workers


Texarkana, Texas – Texas’s Eastern District United States Attorney Stephen J. Cox, on 19th January 2021, reported that a man from Maud, Texas, had been indicted for purportedly filing bank loan applications deceitfully seeking over 5 million U.S. dollars in forgivable loans pledged by the SBA (Small Business Administration) pursuant to the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.

From Maud, Texas, Samuel Yates, age 32, was indicted for two wire fraud counts submitted on 14th January 2021 by a federal grand jury in Texarkana, Texas.  Samuel Yates purportedly solicited millions of U.S. dollars in forgivable loans endorsed by the Small Business Administration from two separate banks by professing to have more than 400 workers earning salaries when no workers, in reality, worked for his alleged business.

As per the court documents opened on 19th January 2021 in a Texarkana-based United States District Court, Samuel Yates purportedly made two deceitful applications to two separate lenders for the Small Business Administration’s loans for COVID-19 relief via the PPP.  In the application presented to the first lender, Samuel Yates purportedly asked for 5 million U.S. dollars in PPP loan returns by deceitfully claiming to have more than 400 workers with an average monthly salary of over 2 million U.S. dollars.  In the second application, Samuel Yates professed to employ more than 100 people and was able to acquire a loan of more than 500,000 U.S. dollars. Samuel Yates submitted the names of alleged workers that he got through a publicly available random name generator on the web with every application. Samuel Yates further submitted fake tax documents with every application.

The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act is a federal law passed on 29th March 2020, intended to give emergency financial support to the millions of United States citizens who are enduring the economic effects triggered by the COVID-19 crisis.  One of the relief’s sources offered by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act was the approval of up to 349 billion U.S. dollars in pardonable loans to small businesses for work retention and specific other expenditures via the PPP.  The United States Congress approved more than 300 billion U.S. dollars in extra PPP funding in April 2020.

The PPP permits eligible small-businesses and other organizations to get loans with a 1% interest rate and a maturity of two years. Businesses should utilize PPP loan returns on payroll expenses, interest on mortgages, utilities, and rent.  The PPP authorizes the principal and interest to be pardoned if businesses use the loan proceeds on these costs within 8 weeks of receipt and use on payroll expenses at least 75% of the forgiven amount.

A federal criminal charge is just an accusation. An accused remains innocent unless and until proven guilty or found liable for the allegations against them in a court of law.

The USPIS (United States Postal Inspection Service), together with the Small Business Administration – Office of Inspector General, investigated this case. Criminal Division – Fraud Section Trial Attorney Louis Manzo, Texas’s Eastern District Criminal Chief Frank Coan, and Texas’s Eastern District United States Assistant Attorney Jonathan R. are handling the prosecution of this case on behalf of the federal government.

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