Multi-million dollar COVID-19 fraudster trades mansion for a prison cell
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Texas
HOUSTON – A 33-year-old Richmond man who operated a medical supply company in Porter has been ordered to federal prison for a massive fraud that resulted in losses of $17 million, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Caleb M. McCreless pleaded guilty May 2.
U.S. District Judge Sim Lake has now ordered him to prison for 110 months to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release and restitution of $36,279,780 to 11 different victims. Before imposing the sentence, the court noted the opportunistic nature of the crime. Given the sheer amount of loss McCreless caused, Judge Lake added that the victims would probably never be paid back in full.
“Mansions, a Rolls Royce, a lavish lifestyle, and good old fashioned greed motivated Caleb McCreless to take advantage of a nation’s emergency, exploiting the most vulnerable amongst us,” said Hamdani. “McCreless started his scheme by taking almost $1 million from the hands of those trying to treat Native American elders at a time when COVID-19 was decimating that population. His action were deplorable, and now it’s time to pay. No more cars, no more mansions, just a small cell.”
McCreless orchestrated a scheme to defraud retail buyers in the medical services sector by promising to deliver high-grade surgical gloves he did not have. He took initial payments that ran into the millions, but never delivered gloves or only delivered a small portion of them at a vastly inferior quality.
McCreless admitted when he ran out of victims from May 2020 through spring 2021, he induced millions in payments from his victims by offering surgical gloves from a trusted Chinese company. But, McCreless actually had no such relationship.
After taking the money, he would try to stall the victims and then eventually stopped communicating with them. Many failed deals ended in civil litigation. McCreless used the money to pay off co-conspirators and fund a lavish lifestyle such as buying exotic vehicles and a mansion.
Almost a dozen victims from across the United States, including Texas, lost over $17 million in the scheme.
McCreless has been and will remain in custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI and Harris County Constable’s Office Precinct 1 conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Carter prosecuted the case.
Updated September 21, 2023