Pandemic Funds Fraud Tracker-Federal Cases in Virginia

By Andrea L. Moseley

In today’s installment, I am breaking out a scaled-down preview of our firm’s Pandemic Fraud Tracker for Federal Cases in Virginia. Virginia is divided into the Eastern (EDVA) and Western (WDVA) Districts. This chart includes prosecutions that DoJ deems “coronavirus” related. In its final form, soon available on our website, I will include more case detail that you will not want to miss.

As White Collar practitioners, we are superior advocates for our business and individual clients when we know the temperature reading in DoJ’s local enclaves. That temperature can be understood by analyzing what cases are brought and knowing the ultimate outcomes in court. We also need to identify the unique facts of any prosecuted case, DoJ charging decisions, arguments about calculating “loss” amounts and the ultimate sentences of those who are successfully prosecuted. Further, when it comes to defending an individual or business, it is critical to know how disparately DoJ is treating your case. Is your local jurisdiction stretching the bounds of what is pursued as criminal vs. civil violations? Or, are they sticking to an identifiable protocol?

Knowing what is going on in these cases is just as important for businesses and individuals who are merely under investigation. Many of these case facts are readily distinguishable from other more benign conduct that is being scrutinized. These cases may provide the very basis for an argument that DoJ should not pursue criminal charges because the heartland of criminal cases is so far afield from the case at hand. I hope you find this tool useful. If you know of a case that I have not included, please do let me know: andrea@kmlawfirm.com.

DefendantSummarySentenceNotes
Joseph Cherry

EDVA 4:20-cr-27
Indicted 5/29/20

PG 10/23/20; Wire Fraud, Theft of Gov’t Property
“Nearly” $200k loss; Level 16, Crim. Hist. V (41-51 mos).

On 3/11/21 sent. to 51 mos.
$57,303.29 Restitution
3 yrs. SR
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/repeat-fraudster-sentenced-covid-19-loan-fraud-scheme
Tarik Jaafar

EDVA 1:20-cr-00185-001
Arrested 6/20/20

PG 8/25/20; Consp. to Commit Bank Fraud
$550k to $1.5M loss; Level 17, Crim. Hist. I (24-30 mos.)

On 11/13/20 sent. to 12 mos.
$220,573 Restitution
2 yrs. SR
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-sentenced-covid-19-fraud-involving-paycheck-protection-program
Monica Jaworska

EDVA 1:20-cr-00180
Arrested 6/20/20

PG 9/2/20 Consp. to Commit Wire Fraud
$550k to $1.5M loss; Level 17, Crim. Hist. I (24-30 mos.)

On12/4/20 sent. to Time Served
$220,573 Restitution
2yrs. SR
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-sentenced-covid-19-fraud-involving-paycheck-protection-program
Ronald Smith

EDVA 2:20-cr-69
PG 10/9/20 Wire FraudAlleged loss 1,076,000

4/9/21
10 years
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-sentenced-defrauding-nearly-1700-victims-1-million-small-business-loan-scam
Terri Miller

EDVA 2:20-cr-69
PG 10/23/20 Wire FraudSet for 4/16/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-sentenced-defrauding-nearly-1700-victims-1-million-small-business-loan-scam
Didier Kindambu

EDVA 1:20-cr-260
Arrested 10/20/20

PG 1/28/21 Bank Fraud
Alleged Loss $1.5M-$3.5M
(Allegedly Obtained$2,501,753)

Set for 8/4/21
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-pleads-guilty-25-million-coronavirus-fraud
Scott Suber

EDVA 2:20-cr-110
PG 12/9/20Bank approved for $350k

Set for 5/4/21
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/businessman-pleads-guilty-paycheck-protection-program-fraud
Robert Stewart

EDVA 1:21-cr-5
PG 2/3/21 False StatementsAlleged loss $261,500

Set for 6/16/21
https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/ceo-pleads-guilty-defrauding-multiple-federal-agencies
Mary Benton

“Operation Checkmate”
EDVA 2:21-cr-33

Indicted 4/8/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/four-individuals-indicted-fraudulently-obtaining-pandemic-unemployment-benefits
Angelica Cartwright-Powers

“Operation Checkmate”
EDVA 2:21-cr-33
Indicted 4/8/21 https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/four-individuals-indicted-fraudulently-obtaining-pandemic-unemployment-benefits
Michael Lee Lewis, Jr.

“Operation Checkmate”
EDVA 2:21-cr-33
Indicted 4/8/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/four-individuals-indicted-fraudulently-obtaining-pandemic-unemployment-benefits
Michael Anthony White

“Operation Checkmate”
EDVA 2:21-cr-33
Indicted 4/8/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/four-individuals-indicted-fraudulently-obtaining-pandemic-unemployment-benefits
Jonathan Drew

EDVA 1:21-cr-71
PG 4/14/21 Bank Fraud; Agg. ID TheftSet for 8/25/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/man-pleads-guilty-counterfeit-covid-19-stimulus-checks-scheme
Andrew Tezna

EDVA 1:27-cr-77
PG 4/19/21 Bank FraudSet for 7/16/21https://www.justice.gov/usao-edva/pr/senior-nasa-employee-pleads-guilty-covid-19-related-loan-fraud

Last Updated 4/30/21

Where is the Western District on pandemic fund prosecutions? Right here.

The Western District came roaring in like a lion with its first pandemic related fraud news. On Wednesday April 28, a federal grand jury in Abingdon returned an indictment charging 23 individuals with their alleged roles in a large conspiracy to defraud the United States government by filing fraudulent claims for more than $499,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits, mail fraud and associated offenses. While this appears to be charged as one conspiracy, this indictment alone causes WDVA to instantly surpass EDVA in the number of individuals prosecuted on this topic.

In all, the conspiracy allegedly filed fraudulent claims for approximately 37 individuals, causing at least $499,000 in false claims to be have been paid. In addition to those indicted, eight co-conspirators have already entered into plea agreements with the United States. This gigantic indictment might explain why, to date, we have not seen any prosecutions for pandemic related fraud until now. WDVA was very busy on this blockbuster. More to come on this recent news.

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