Eight Arrested in Multi-Million Dollar Pandemic Relief Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Michigan
DETROIT - Eight residents of Michigan and California were charged for their alleged roles in a $6 million fraud scheme targeting multiple pandemic relief programs, announced United States Attorney Dawn N. Ison.
Joining in the announcement were Special Agent in Charge James A. Tarasca of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Detroit Field Office, Special Agent in Charge Irene Lidlow of the Chicago Region of the U.S. Department of Labor Office of the Inspector General and Acting Special Agent in Charge Brady Ipock of the Central Region of the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General.
Deangelo Jackson-Portwood, 40, of Livonia; Anton Greenwood, 37, of Detroit; Adartha Tillman, 39, of Eastpointe; Timothy Boyle, 55, of Los Angeles County, California; Tyrone Boyle, 55, of Los Angeles County, California; Christopher Lindsay, 36, of Detroit; Taurean Davis, 41, of Detroit; and Maurice Brown-Portwood, 33, of Van Buren Township, were charged in an indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
According to the indictment, the defendants caused fraudulent unemployment insurance claims, fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications, and fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications to be submitted for numerous individuals and business entities. Those applications are alleged to have misrepresented applicant information, including the identity of the applicant and eligibility for relief. Many of the applications were submitted in the names of identity theft victims. According to court records, the defendants received over $6 million in fraudulently obtained funds as a result of the scheme.
U.S. Attorney Ison stated: “Today’s indictment alleges a massive scheme to defraud taxpayers across a number of pandemic relief programs. The conduct as alleged is brazen and targeted programs designed to help our nation through an unprecedented public health crisis. My Office is fully committed to prosecuting all of those who lined their pockets at the expense of the public.”
"An important part of the mission of the Office of Inspector General is to investigate allegations of fraud involving unemployment insurance programs. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to aggressively investigate these types of allegations," said Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge, Great Lakes Region, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General.
"The defendants arrested today include the leaders of this criminal conspiracy that targeted relief programs during the pandemic," said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Detroit Field Office. "The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue this investigation until those who participated in this scheme are brought to justice."
“Providing false information to fraudulently gain access to pandemic relief funds is a theft of taxpayer funds,” said SBA OIG’s Central Region Acting Special Agent in Charge Brady Ipock. “OIG remains committed to rooting out bad actors and protecting the integrity of SBA programs. I want to thank the Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.”
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
The defendants face up to twenty years in prison based on the wire fraud conspiracy charge and a consecutive two years in prison for the aggravated identity theft charge.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Small Business Administration, and the Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys John K. Neal and Alyse Wu
Updated June 1, 2023