Rhode Island Man Who Sought $4.7 Million in COVID Relief Loans Sentenced for Defrauding CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program
While detained, Michael Moller also defrauded other Wyatt Detention Center inmates of more than $17,000
PROVIDENCE – For the second time in one week, a defendant has been sentenced in U.S. District Court in Providence, RI, to a significant term of incarceration in federal prison for defrauding or attempting to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced Acting United States Attorney Richard B. Myrus.
Today, Michael C. Moller, 42, a Middletown, R.I., man previously convicted and sentenced to 108 months in federal prison for committing four armed bank robberies while on home confinement for an even earlier tax fraud conviction, was sentenced to 82 months and one day in federal prison for fraudulently seeking more than $4.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans and violating the terms of his term of federal supervised release.
Today’s sentence follows the October 7, 2021, resolution of criminal charges against David Adler Staveley, a/k/a Kurt David Sanborn, a/k/a David Sanborn, 54, of Andover, MA, the first person in the country charged with defrauding or attempting to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program. Staveley was sentenced to 56 months in federal prison for filing four fraudulent loan applications totaling more than $543,700 for business he did not own.
In this most recent case, an investigation by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation determined that, while on federal supervised release, having completed his term of incarceration on the bank robbery convictions, Michael C. Moller, 42, submitted 11 fraudulent loan applications totaling $4,725,742 in his own name, as well as in the names of his father, and in the names of his girlfriend’s son and the brother. Moller received $599,251 from these fraudulent loans, which were designed to assist small businesses that were struggling to survive because of the pandemic.
According to court records, prior to his convictions for robbing four banks and for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, Moller was convicted in state courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts nine times for larceny/obtaining money under false pretenses. Additionally, he was twice convicted in federal courts on tax fraud charges.
According to court documents filed while Moller was awaiting sentencing for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, an FBI investigation determined that while detained at the Wyatt Detention Center, he defrauded two fellow inmates by convincing them to give him thousands of dollars in cash as payment for the services of a purported lawyer who would assist them in their criminal and immigration cases. In calls made by Moller from inside the Wyatt Detention Center and reviewed by the FBI, Moller impersonated an attorney named “Sam” and directed individuals associated with the inmates to provide his girlfriend with thousands of dollars in cash. The wife of one inmate delivered $5,000 in cash to Moller’s girlfriend; a friend of another inmate is believed to have delivered approximately $12,000 in cash. One of the victims reported that Moller told him to pack his belongings because the attorney Moller had supposedly hired had arranged for bail to be posted. Bail was never posted.
In recorded conversations between Moller and his girlfriend, and reviewed by the FBI, it was learned that the money was spent on marijuana, gambling, and on Moller’s commissary account at the Wyatt Detention Center.
Appearing today before U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy, Moller was sentenced to a total of 82 months and one day in federal prison to be followed by 3 years of federal supervised release. Moller was ordered to pay restitution to banks totaling $599,251.
The cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.
Acting United States Attorney Myrus thanks the SBA Office of Inspector General and the FDIC Office of Inspector General for their assistance in the investigation that determined that Moller had defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program.
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.