ST. LOUIS –U.S. District Judge John A. Ross on Friday sentenced a man from St. Louis County, Missouri who submitted nearly $980,000 in fraudulent applications to a pandemic relief loan program to five years and 5 months in prison.
Terrell Alexander, 46, received $777,400 in loans, but more than $200,000 has been recovered. Judge Ross ordered Alexander to repay the $511,600 remaining.
Alexander admitted submitting 10 fraudulent applications to obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loans and advances from the Small Business Administration. The applications contained fraudulent information about the size and ownership of the businesses, the number of employees and revenue. Some of the businesses existed but others were fictional or inactive. Alexander used Social Security numbers belonging to others on applications, including one belonging to a child. He also used a fake name and fraudulent driver’s license on other applications and real people’s names and information, sometimes with their knowledge.
The money was supposed to go businesses that had been negatively affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
“You weren’t just stealing from the government,” Ross told Alexander in court Friday. “You were stealing from people who needed this money and didn’t get it because there wasn’t enough.”
Alexander pleaded guilty in November to ten counts of wire fraud, five counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of unlawful transfer of an identification document and one count of theft of government property.
“Terrell Alexander misused and fabricated Social Security numbers to defraud CARES Act benefit programs,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “He fraudulently obtained over $770,000 from programs intended to assist businesses and individuals facing economic disadvantages due to the pandemic. This sentence holds him accountable for these egregious acts. My office will continue our work with our law enforcement partners to pursue justice. I want to thank the FBI, SBA-OIG for their work in this joint investigation, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke for prosecuting the case.”
The case was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke is prosecuting the case.