Baltimore City Man Facing Federal Charges for Allegedly Submitting Fraudulent Covid-19 Cares Act Relief Loan Applications and Stealing the Identity of a Tax Preparer
Defendant Alleged to Have Submitted Falsified Tax Documents, Fraudulent Economic Disaster Relief Loan Applications, and CARES Act Paycheck Program Protection Loan Applications on Behalf of His Recently Revived Company
Baltimore, Maryland – A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Dana Lamar Antonio Hayes, Jr., age 37, of Baltimore, Maryland, on the federal charges of wire fraud, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft. The indictment was returned on June 23, 2022, and unsealed upon his arrest. Hayes will have an initial appearance today at 3:30 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Baltimore before U.S. Magistrate Judge Beth P. Gesner.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Darrell J. Waldon of the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation, Washington, D.C. Field Office.
According to the six-count indictment, between March 2020 and October 2021, Hayes submitted several a fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Relief loan application (EIDL loan) and several Paycheck Protection Plan loan applications (PPP loans) to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and two financial institutions (Bank1 and Bank 2).
Specifically, the indictment alleges in March 2020, Hayes submitted a fraudulent EIDL loan application on behalf of his previously forfeited and recently revived company, D&L Investment Properties Inc. The EIDL loan application allegedly contained false statements regarding the number of employees and payroll expenses of D&L. On the basis of false and fraudulent information, the SBA approved Hayes’s EIDL application and provided Hayes loan funds on behalf of D&L. The indictment also alleges that Hayes claimed to have company expenses of $15,000 and equipment costs of $35,000 when the company had been inactive since 2019. Additionally, within the EIDL application, Hayes allegedly stated that he was not on probation at the time of the filing. As alleged in the indictment, after the SBA initially denied Hayes’ EIDL application, he allegedly regularly contacted the SBA to have his EIDL application approved. Once the application was approved and the funds were deposited into D&L’s bank account, Hayes allegedly transferred all of the loan proceeds from D&L’s bank account into his personal savings account.
Further, in June 2020 and January 2021, Hayes allegedly applied for several PPP loans with Bank 1 and Bank 2 on behalf of D&L. In the PPP loan applications, Hayes allegedly included false statements regarding the number of employees, falsified tax forms, his probation status, and provided false payroll expenses of D&L. On the basis of fraudulent information, Bank 1 and Bank 2 approved and provided PPP loans in the name of D&L. As alleged in the indictment, Hayes quickly transferred the loan proceeds into his personal savings account.
The indictment continues to allege that Hayes used the name and Preparer Tax Identification number of Victim 1 to submit a fraudulent Form 941 to Bank 2 without Victim 1’s knowledge or consent. Victim 1 had been previously hired by Hayes to prepare D&L and Hayes’ personal tax returns, however, Victim 1 claims that they have never prepared Form 941’s for D&L, and federal records indicate no such form was ever filed.
If convicted, Hayes faces a maximum sentence of twenty years in federal prison for wire fraud, ten years in federal prison for money laundering, and a mandatory two years in federal prison followed by any other sentenced imposed for aggravated identity theft. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’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. An indictment is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by indictment is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the FBI and the IRS- CI for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Aaron S.J. Zelinsky, who is prosecuting the federal case.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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