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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 22, 2020

RI Man Charged with Fraudulently Seeking $4.7 Million in Covid-19 Stimulus Loans

PROVIDENCE – A Middletown, RI, man currently on federal supervised release having been previously sentenced for robbing four banks, is facing charges in federal court in Providence for allegedly filing fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $4.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act was passed by Congress to assist businesses impacted by the pandemic.

It is alleged that Michael C. Moller, 41, applied for and received nearly $600,000 in PPP loans to pay employees for Fall River, MA, businesses, none of which are incorporated with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, or for which investigators could locate any tax or bank records.

According to court documents, it is alleged that Moller filed a PPP loan application in his name, and caused applications to be filed in the name of his father and his girlfriend’s brother. As a result of those bank loan applications, financial institutions provided Moller a total of $599,251 dollars in stimulus PPP loans he was not entitled to receive.

Additionally, it is alleged that Moller, alone or with family members and associates, filed eight fraudulent PPP loan applications, all in the name of his girlfriend’s son, to pay employees for a Fall River-based business for which investigators could find no records. Among the eight applications were three nearly identical ones filed with different financial institutions, each seeking $734,300 in SBA guaranteed PPP loans. None of the eleven applications allegedly filed in the name of Moller’s girlfriend’s son resulted in the disbursement of PPP loans.

Moller, arrested today by FBI and IRS- Criminal Investigation agents on a criminal complaint charging him with making false statements to influence the Small Business Administration and with bank fraud, appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond and was ordered detained.

According to court records, Moller was convicted in the District of Massachusetts in 2010 for fraud and received a sentence of twenty-four months of supervised release. During his term of supervised release, Moller was convicted of four counts of bank robbery and sentenced to 108 months imprisonment and three years of supervised release. His term of supervised release is scheduled to terminate in July 2022.

A federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lee H. Vilker.

The matter is being investigated by the FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the SBA Office of Inspector General and the FDIC Office of Inspector General.

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.

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Topic(s): 
Coronavirus
Financial Fraud
Contact: 
Jim Martin (401) 709-5357
Press Release Number: 
20-118
Updated September 22, 2020