May 24, 2011
HOUSTON REAL ESTATE DEVELOPER CHARGED WITH DISASTER FRAUD
(HOUSTON) – Jon August Holverson, the owner of Bayou City Properties, and his brother, Jeffrey Holverson, have been indicted for conspiring to obtain approximately $1 million in disaster relief funds by fraudulent means and for making false statements in connection with a benefit authorized pursuant to a presidentially declared disaster declaration, United States Attorney José Angel Moreno, announced today along with Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General (SBA-OIG) Special Agent in Charge Scott Dennis and Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (DHS-OIG) Houston Special Agent in Charge Ronald Moore.
The three-count indictment was returned by a Houston grand jury on Wednesday, May 18, 2011. Jon August Holverson was taken into federal custody following his surrender to the United States Marshals Service yesterday while Jeffrey Holverson surrendered today. After appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge George C. Hanks Jr. today, both have been ordered released on bond pending trial.
The three-count indictment accuses the brothers of conspiring to commit disaster fraud between Sept. 26, 2008, and Feb. 16, 2011. According to allegations in the indictment, Jon Holverson filed an application for a SBA commercial disaster loan in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, requesting more than $1 million. In order to get the SBA to disburse the loan funds, Jon Holverson allegedly submitted more than $600,000 in false invoices and cancelled checks purporting to show payments to his brother’s company, Quality Construction. When he was contacted by representatives of the SBA, the indictment alleges Jeffrey Holverson falsely affirmed he had performed the work and been paid the money.
Conspiracy carries a maximum penalty of five years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction. Each of the two counts of disaster fraud charged carries a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 upon conviction.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by special agents of the SBA-OIG and DHS–OIG. Assistant U.S. Attorney F. Andino Reynal is prosecuting the case.
An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.
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