Baton Rouge Man Sentenced to 132 Months in Federal Prison for Fraud Scheme and Money Laundering Relating to Financial Aid and COVID Fraud
Acting United States Attorney Ellison C. Travis announced today that U.S. Chief Judge Shelly D. Dick sentenced Michael J. Kaiser, age 43, of Krotz Springs, Louisiana, to 77 months in federal prison following his conviction for wire fraud. The Court further sentenced Kaiser to serve 3 years of supervised release following his term of imprisonment. Kaiser was also ordered to pay a total of $53,153 in restitution to Trade Construction Company, LLC (“Trade”) and Motiva Enterprises, LLC. Kaiser was remanded to federal prison at the conclusion of the hearing.
According to admissions made as part of his guilty plea, from September 2015 through February 2017, Kaiser devised and intended to devise a scheme and artifice to defraud his then-employer, Trade, and to obtain money and property from Trade by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. The object of his scheme was to unlawfully enrich himself and circumvent a court order requiring garnishment of 25 percent of his wages. Kaiser executed his scheme through three primary means. First, Kaiser used his Trade-issued credit card for personal purchases and submitted false and fraudulent receipts and expense reports in order to conceal his fraud. Second, Kaiser made numerous false and fraudulent representations, which included a purported court filing with forged signatures of a district judge and deputy clerk of court for the 19th Judicial District Court, in order to circumvent a valid garnishment order against him. Third and finally, Kaiser submitted false and fraudulent invoices and requests for payment, on behalf of a self-created company in which he was the sole manager and member. As a result of his fraudulent scheme, Kaiser caused an actual loss of over $53,000.
Acting U.S. Attorney Ellison C. Travis stated, “Betrayal of trust such as this oftentimes threatens the financial integrity of professional businesses. Mr. Kaiser defrauded a company for his own personal benefit and was held accountable by today’s sentence. We will continue to vigorously pursue those who use their trust and skill to steal from others and, more importantly, restore justice to the victims to the best of our ability. I applaud the efforts of our prosecutors and the FBI for their exemplary work in this case.”
This matter was investigated by the Baton Rouge Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Caroline Gardner and M. Patricia Jones, who also serves as Appellate Chief, as well as former Assistant United States Attorney Chris Dippel.