WILMINGTON, Del. – David C. Weiss, U.S. Attorney for the District of Delaware announced today that a Bear, DE man pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with obtaining a Payroll Protection Plan (“PPP”) loan.
According to court documents, Michael Coleman, 43, a former Sergeant with the Wilmington Police Department, pled guilty to fraudulently obtaining a $150,000 PPP loan from the Small Business Administration in 2021 for a personal business he purportedly operated. The Small Business Administration funded loans to small businesses as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”).
U.S. Attorney Weiss stated, “Mr. Coleman was a public servant who took federal funds from a public program that was meant to provide financial support to struggling businesses during a global pandemic when he did not qualify for those funds. My office, in partnership with our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, will continue to identify and prosecute individuals who illegally obtained CARES Act funding.”
“These assistance programs may have ended, but our commitment to seeking out those who defrauded them has not,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge R. Joseph Rothrock of the FBI'S Baltimore Field Office. “The FBI and our partners remain focused on making sure stolen funds are returned to taxpayers, and individuals involved in this type of criminal behavior are held responsible for their actions.”
Coleman faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
This case was investigated by the FBI Baltimore Field Office’s Wilmington Resident Agency with assistance from the Delaware Department of Justice and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexander Ibrahim.
For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Delaware. Related court documents and information is located on the website of the District Court for the District of Delaware or on PACER by searching for Case No. 23-cr-083.