Chesterland Man Accused of COVID-19 Assistance Fraud | USAO-NDOH

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Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan announced that a federal grand jury has returned four counts of Robert Bearden, 49, from Chesterland, Ohio, three counts of electronic fraud and one count of embezzlement of government funds.

According to the indictment, in July 2020, the defendant allegedly devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain an emergency loan (EIDL) guaranteed by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Relief, Assistance and Economic Security Act (CARES) … , including about $ 60,000 in loans indicated in the indictment.

The indictment states that the Defendant allegedly implemented the scheme in several ways, including filing EIDL applications through the SBA’s online application portal that contained false information about existing and non-existent businesses; sending fraudulent EIDL applications on behalf of third parties in exchange for a refund of part of the funds received and using the personal identification information of persons interested in receiving government assistance in connection with the pandemic to submit loan applications on their behalf, which ultimately went to controlled accounts The defendant.

In addition, the indictment lists three fraudulent EIDL loans totaling approximately $ 60,000 that the Respondent applied for in July 2020. After receiving a fraudulent loan in its own name, the Defendant hired the alleged third party borrower only to use the third party funds. information for obtaining a loan in the amount of US $ 12,300, issued not to a third party, but to the Respondent’s own account. In another case, the Respondent received a loan of $ 34,800 to another third party in exchange for a $ 6,000 kickback.

An accusation is just an accusation, not a proof of guilt. The defendant has the right to a fair trial, during which the government is obliged to prove guilt beyond reasonable doubt.

If convicted, the Defendant’s verdict will be determined by the Court after considering factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s previous conviction, if any, the Defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

In all cases, the sentence will not exceed the maximum established by law, and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This investigation was conducted by the FBI and IRS – Criminal Investigations. The case is being investigated by Assistant US Attorneys Elliot Morrison and Brian M. McDonough.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Task Force to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice, in partnership with government departments, to intensify efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force supports efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors, and helps agencies tasked with managing assistance programs to prevent fraud, inter alia, by expanding and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and methods to identify fraudsters and fraudsters. schemes, and the exchange and use of information and ideas from previous compliance efforts.

For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus

Anyone with information on allegations of attempted COVID-19 fraud can report it by calling the National Center for Disaster Management of Disaster Fraud (NCDF) of the U.S. Department of Justice at 866-720-5721 or filling out the NCDF complaint web form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

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