May 12, 2023
Fraud Friday – Almost 200 Fraudulent Applications Lead to a 2+ Year Prison Sentence
“The theft of any amount of taxpayer funds is inexcusable but stealing over $4.8 million dollars from honest, hardworking Americans truly in need of pandemic relief is simply abhorrent,” says U.S. Attorney Jason Coody.
A Tallahassee couple was recently sentenced to prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and making false statements. This was the result of an exorbitant COVID fraud scheme consisting of 166 fraudulent EIDL applications, 20 fraudulent PPP applications, and 3 fraudulent SVOG applications.
Wilbert Stanley III and Felicia Stanley not only submitted applications with their names, they also submitted applications using other individuals’ names who would receive a kickback for their contribution to the fraud. The Stanleys inflated average monthly payroll expenses and provided false tax forms in their documentation. Ultimately, 50 EIDLs were approved and funded. Though they applied for $7 million, they still received a significant portion, $4.8 million.
Wilbert Stanley III received 3 years and 4 months in prison, and Felicia Stanley will serve two years in prison. They will be required to pay $2.8 million in restitution along with the forfeiture of property and accounts.
“Today’s sentences both punish the defendants’ criminal conduct and should serve as a significant deterrent to others who would steal from their fellow citizens to unlawfully enrich themselves. With our law enforcement partners, we remain committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting those who engage in acts of covid-related fraud,” continues U.S. Attorney Jason Coody.