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Press Release

St. Louis County Man Sentenced for Multiple Frauds

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Stephen R. Clark on Thursday sentenced a man from St. Louis County, Missouri to 15 months in prison and ordered him to repay $47,397 he’d stolen via two fraud schemes.

Dominique Lowery, 32, is the third person involved in multiple, connected frauds to be sentenced in the case.

In April, Judge Clark sentenced Christopher Tatum, 37, of St. Louis County, to 51 months in prison and ordered him to repay $103,481. In January, Monique Howard, 39, of St. Louis, was sentenced to four years of probation and ordered to repay $115,267.

Each admitted participating in bank fraud, a scheme to defraud a pandemic loan program, or both.

In March of 2019, Tatum, through his business, Final Lap Auto Center LLC, claimed to be offering to sell a 2014 Audi Q7 to Lowery and Howard. Lowery and Howard knew that Tatum didn’t own the vehicle, but applied for and received motor vehicle loans from credit unions. Tatum provided lenders a counterfeit motor vehicle title, with a forged signature of the director of the Missouri Department of Revenue, and fraudulent buyer’s orders. 

Howard received a $18,600 loan from St. Louis Community Credit Union and a $18,540 loan from First Financial Federal Credit Union. Lowery received a $26,500 loan from Scott Credit Union. Lowery and Howard knew that the loans would not be secured with the Audi and knew they would not be repaying the loan and interest as promised. In exchange for their participation, Tatum paid both Lowery and Howard kickbacks from the proceeds of the illegal loans.

Howard also received two fraudulent loans for a 2015 Maserati. She made no payments and the car was eventually repossessed, creating a total loss of $74,000. 

On April 26, 2021, Lowery submitted a fraudulent application for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, a pandemic-era program intended to help save jobs. Lowery falsely claimed that he operated a sole proprietorship that generated gross income of $104,196 in 2019. Lowery received $20,833. The loan was forgiven after Lowery falsely claimed that he used $17,389 of the illegally obtained loan proceeds on payroll costs. He actually used it for personal expenses.

On March 30, 2021, Tatum submitted a PPP loan application falsely claiming to be an independent contractor and lying about his business income. He received a total of $39,778.

Lowery pleaded guilty in March to two felonies: conspiracy to commit bank fraud and access device fraud. Tatum pleaded guilty to four: conspiracy to commit bank fraud and three counts of bank fraud. Howard pleaded guilty to the conspiracy charge, bank fraud and mail fraud.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the Missouri Department of Revenue.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Tracy Berry prosecuted the case.

Updated July 21, 2023

Financial Fraud