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Press Release

Charleston County Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding the Small Business Association

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA —  Antonio Brown-Sanders, 26, of Charleston, pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the Small Business Association (SBA) to receive an Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The evidence presented at the guilty plea hearing established that Brown-Sanders applied to the SBA to receive an EIDL loan that fraudulently represented he owned a lawn care business.  The application submitted by Brown-Sanders also falsely represented the number of employees and gross revenues for the fraudulent lawn care business. The total amount lent to Brown-Sanders by the SBA was $81,600.

Brown-Sanders is subject to a maximum sentence of twenty years in federal prison and a fine of $250,000.00.  United States District Judge Richard M. Gergel accepted the guilty plea and will sentence Brown-Sanders after receiving and reviewing a sentencing report prepared by the United States Probation Office.

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 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

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 via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at

The case was investigated by the United States Secret Service and the Small Business Administration, Office of the Inspector General.  Assistant United States Attorney Amy F. Bower prosecuted the case.



Brook Andrews, First Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Attorney’s Office,, (803) 929-3000

Updated March 10, 2023

Financial Fraud