Brothers Sentenced for $1.6M COVID-19 Fraud Scheme
Two men were sentenced yesterday for their participation in a COVID-19 fraud scheme, which involved fraudulent applications for $1.6 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Dumarsais Blaise Jr., 45, of Stonecrest, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and three months in prison. His brother, Alexander Blaise, 41, of Plantation, Florida, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison.
According to court documents, Dumarsais Blaise and Alexander Blaise worked together to submit fraudulent PPP applications. Dumarsais Blaise used his expertise as a tax preparer to create fake tax documents that were submitted in support of the fraudulent applications. The conspiracy involved fabricating information about three purported companies, two of which did not exist. For the third company, the brothers falsely inflated the number of employees and payroll costs, claiming the company employed 41 people when in fact it employed only one person.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, Special Agent in Charge Kyle A. Myles of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) Atlanta Region, and Special Agent in Charge Jeffery Veltri of the FBI Miami Field Office made the announcement.
The FDIC-OIG and FBI Miami Field Office investigated the case.
Trial Attorney Edward Emokpae of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kiran Bhat for the Southern District of Florida prosecuted the case.
The Fraud Section leads the Criminal Division’s prosecution of fraud schemes that exploit the PPP. Since the inception of the CARES Act, the Fraud Section has prosecuted over 200 defendants in more than 130 criminal cases and has seized over $78 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds. More information can be found at https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/ppp-fraud.