Former Coral Springs Police Officer Ordered to Pay Restitution for COVID-19 Relief Fraud
MIAMI – Jason Scott Carter, a 45-year-old former Coral Springs, Fla., police officer, must serve five years of probation and pay restitution following a federal conviction for fraudulently applying to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for a COVID-19 relief advance grant and low-interest loan.
According to court records, Carter submitted a fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application and loan agreement on behalf of Jason S. Carter Inc., a South Florida business he allegedly owned and operated. That application falsely certified that during the 12 months prior to January 31, 2020, the business had gross revenues of $100,000. In reality, the business had only minimal gross revenues. He also falsely certified in his SBA application that he would use the funds for business expenses to alleviate pandemic-related economic injury. Instead, Carter spent more than $21,000 of the SBA loan obtaining high-end repairs on his 1969 Ford Mustang.
Carter pled guilty to one count of wire fraud on October 12, 2022. In addition to his probation, he must serve six months home confinement, pay a $5,000 fine, and pay restitution in the amount of $30,000.
Juan Antonio Gonzalez, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida; Special Agent in Charge Omar Perez Aybar, Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), Miami Regional Office; and Special Agent in Charge David Walker, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Tampa, Fla., Field Office, made the announcement.
HHS-OIG Miami, Tampa Field Office, and FBI Tampa investigated this case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Will J. Rosenzweig prosecuted it. Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Laserna is handling asset forfeiture.
In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted. It was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized and provided funding to SBA to provide EIDLs to eligible small businesses, including sole proprietorships and independent contractors experiencing substantial financial disruptions due to the pandemic. This allowed them to meet financial obligations and fund operating expenses. EIDL applications were submitted directly via the SBA’s website where the applications were processed and loans funded for qualifying applicants.
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 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.
-Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case no. 22-CR-80094.