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Press Release

Snow Hill Man Sentenced to Prison for Role in COVID-19 Fraud Scheme

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

NEW BERN, N.C. – A Snow Hill man was sentenced today to 31 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution for laundering fraudulently obtained Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) benefits.  On November 8, 2022, Dexter Duncan pled guilty.

“This defendant used stolen identities to create fictitious businesses so he could divert taxpayer money intended to support small businesses challenged by the COVID-19 pandemic to himself,” said U.S. Attorney Easley. “My office will continue to make the investigation and prosecution of COVID-19 fraud a top priority.”

According to court documents and other information presented in court, Duncan, 24, conspired with others to apply for EIDL funds on behalf of fictitious companies and using stolen identities. Several of the EIDL applications were approved, and $180,988 in loan proceeds was disbursed to bank accounts owned and/or controlled by Duncan, who was not employed at the time but was known live a lavish lifestyle.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Louise W. Flanagan. The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa K. Labresh  prosecuted the case.

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-CR-00196-FL.


Updated March 8, 2023

Financial Fraud