Laplace Resident Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud for Defrauding Cares Act Financial Assistance Program
According to court documents, BASHIR SCHOFIELD and two relatives, submitted applications to fraudulently obtain money from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans. SCHOFIELD and his relatives submitted loan applications that falsely represented that the applicant had a sole proprietorship and generated substantial income from that business. SCHOFIELD and his relatives’ false representations included the overinflation of the business’s gross receipts, as well as the claim that the loan proceeds were for business purposes when, in fact, the defendants intended to use the money for personal purposes. Indeed, the entities either did not exist at all or earned far less money than BASHIR SCHOFIELD and his relatives represented.
For example, on about April 14, 2021, SCHOFIELD completed and submitted a false PPP loan application in the name of an entity he claimed to control, “Vison Six, LLC.” SCHOFIELD falsely stated in the application that SCHOFIELD’s gross income from Vison Six in 2019 was $100,000 and that the money would be used for business-related purposes. In fact, Vison Six was not incorporated until November 2020 and performed no business and had no gross receipts in 2019. As a result of the fraudulent application, SCHOFIELD received approximately $20,833. Additionally, SCHOFIELD and his relatives collectively submitted false applications for several other entities, including “AfroTouch, Inc.,” “Afromerica Touch 360, LLC,” and “Just Jocin.”
BASHIR SCHOFIELD faces a maximum term of imprisonment of twenty (20) years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee. Sentencing before Judge Guidry is scheduled for March 5 2024.
For more information on the Department of Justice’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, Chief of the Public Integrity Unit, is in charge of the prosecution.
Shane M. Jones
Public Information Officer
United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana
United States Department of Justice
Updated November 29, 2023