One Person Indicted, Second Person to Plead Guilty in COVID-19 Stimulus Fraud Investigation
PROVIDENCE – A Massachusetts man who failed to appear in federal court in Rhode Island and who allegedly faked his own death after being charged and arraigned on fraud and conspiracy charges for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to file bank loan applications fraudulently seeking more than a half-million dollars in forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence.
David Adler Staveley, a/k/a Kurt David Sanborn, a/k/a David Sanborn, 53, of Andover, MA, has been indicted on three counts of bank fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to influence the SBA, aggravated identity theft, and failure to appear in court as required.
According to an information and plea agreement filed with the court, alleged co-conspirator David Andrew Butziger, 52, of Warwick RI, has agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. A court date has not yet been scheduled.
It is alleged that Staveley and Butziger conspired to seek forgivable loans guaranteed by the SBA, claiming to have dozens of employees earning wages at four different business, three restaurants and an electronics business, entities when, in fact, there were no employees working for any of the businesses. Additionally, it is alleged that Staveley posed as his brother in real estate transactions.
It is alleged in the indictment that Staveley, following his arrest on May 5, 2020, and released by the court on unsecured bond with certain travel restrictions, violated the terms of pre-trial release when he traveled to Connecticut without the approval of the court or United States Probation. On May 11, 2020, the court ordered Staveley to home confinement with GPS monitoring. While awaiting a further court hearing on the pre-trial release violation, it is alleged that Staveley cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and fled.
According to the indictment, in an effort to deceive law enforcement into believing that he had died, it is alleged that Staveley staged his suicide by, among other things, leaving suicide notes with associates and in his car, which he left unlocked and parked by the Atlantic Ocean. It is alleged that from May 26, 2020, to July 23, 2020, in an effort to avoid apprehension, Staveley traveled to various States using false identities and stolen license plates. He was apprehended by the United States Marshals Service in Alpharetta, Georgia on July 23, 2020.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding.
The PPP allows qualifying small-businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of one percent. PPP loan proceeds must be used by businesses on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within eight weeks of receipt and use at least 75 percent of the forgiven amount for payroll.
The indictment of Staveley and the filing of an information and plea agreement in the case against Butziger are announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman, Special Agent in Charge Joseph R. Bonavolonta of the FBI’s Boston Field Office, and Acting Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Joleen Simpson.
A federal indictment and an information are merely accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
The Justice Department acknowledges and thanks the SBA Office of Inspector General and the FDIC, Office of Inspector General for their efforts investigating this mater.
The year 2020 marks the 150th anniversary of the Department of Justice. Learn more about the history of our agency at www.Justice.gov/Celebrating150Years.