The huge amount of money available under the recently passed federal stimulus legislation was certain to tempt many people to cheat the system. In one of the first cases of this kind, a man from Maud, Texas, a small town just west of Texarkana, has been charged with numerous federal crimes involving an attempt to swindle two banks out of more than $5 million dollars in forgivable loans under the CARES Act.

The defendant is alleged to have made loan applications on behalf of two companies that he supposedly owned. According to the federal criminal complaint, the defendant made the first application on behalf of a company that was alleged to have more than 400 employees with an average monthly payroll of $2 million. In the second application, made to a different bank, the company who was seeking the loan had more than 100 employees, when in fact it had none. According to prosecutors, the suspect used a web site on the internet to generate a random generator of names that were then submitted as employees of the man’s companies.

The defendant has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, making false statements to a financial institution and making false statements to the Small Business Administration. Federal fraud statutes are very broad, and the mere act of using an electronic device such as a cell phone to send a message across a state line as part of the fraudulent activity.

The defendant in this case is entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The complexity of the alleged crimes may force him to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. An experienced defense lawyer can analyze the evidence, suggest potential defenses and, if appropriate, negotiate a favorable plea agreement.

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