CARES Act Indictment
White-Collar Crime- Fort Bend CARES Act Indictment
“White collar crimes” aren’t so black and white. In fact, they can be some of the most complicated and difficult types of cases to defend against. Although these crimes are not typically violent in nature, a number of white-collar crimes involve not only state charges but federal charges as well. This can elevate the severity of the crime and means that the penalties associated with a conviction can be enormous, jeopardizing an individual’s reputation, business standing, and personal life. One of the most prevalent white-collar crimes being seen here in Texas and across the nation has come about because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In early 2020, as the pandemic hit more communities it began to take a heavy toll on people and small businesses, the federal government passed the CARES Act. This piece of legislation paved the way for stimulus checks and financial support for businesses in need. Soon, businesses large and small started applying for government loans designed to help keep them afloat. However, not everyone who ended up applying for and receiving government money did so with the best intentions. Recently, cases have been coming to light of people and businesses defrauding CARES Act funding for personal and professional gain.
News reports show that two landlords in Fort Bend County have been indicted in an alleged scheme to defraud nearly $200,000 in CARES Act funds. Charges against the two men indicate that they supposedly submitted fraudulent documents to the government to secure the CARES Act funding. The investigation into financial irregularities began when one resident paying rent to the two men suddenly received CARES Act funding. The resident had been regularly paying her monthly rent and have never applied for the money.
As the investigation progresses, law enforcement found that the company held by the two men had allegedly submitted multiple requests for rental assistance using fake apartment numbers. However, the names used on the applications belonged to real people, people who had never submitted applications to the CARES Act program. In addition to their rental business, the two men had also applied and received emergency assistance funds from the county of Fort Bend. Records show that one of the men took in $37,958 in funds, while the other suspect received $151,820. They have been charged with tampering with multiple counts of a government record, forgery of a government record, and theft. One of the men has also been charged with forgery of a government record and tampering with a witness.
Most of the charges the two men face are 3rd-degree felonies. However, the charge of theft of more than $30,000 but less than $150,000 has been enhanced to a 2nd-degree felony because of the disaster declaration in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
White-collar crime in the time of Covid-19 is serious business. Those charged with any type of financial or white-collar crime need a determined and dedicated legal team willing to fight for them.
If you have been charged with a financial or white-collar crime, you need a solid defense strategy implemented by an aggressive legal team. You need an attorney with Rosenthal Kalabus & Therrian on your side. We have the experience and the resources to protect your rights and staunchly defend you in court. Don’t wait. Prosecutors are already trying to build a case against you. Contact us today by calling (972) 369-0577 and let us review your situation.