Louisville, KY – A Louisville man was sentenced yesterday to 1 year and 6 months in prison for charges related to his submission of twelve fraudulent Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act applications.
U.S. Attorney Michael A. Bennett of the Western District of Kentucky and Kelly K. Moening, Special Agent in Charge, Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration, Great Lakes Field Division, made the announcement.
According to court documents, Blake Patterson, 38, was sentenced yesterday to 1 year and 6 months years in prison, followed by a 5-year term of supervised release, for twelve counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud. There is no parole in the federal system.
Patterson filed six fraudulent applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and six applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans between August 7, 2020, and May 11, 2021, seeking more than $740,000 and resulting in the theft of $133,802. Patterson utilized the entities et Propellente, LLC, Darke Rose LLC, and Link, LLC. Patterson organized all three entities after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. He then exaggerated the number of employees, revenue, cost of goods sold, and payroll expenses of those entities in the fraudulent applications. Further, every EIDL and PPP application included a question asking whether any individual owning 20% or more of the equity of the applicant was subject to an indictment or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction at the time of the application. Patterson’s applications falsely omitted that he had criminal charges pending against him in Jefferson County Circuit Court at the time he submitted the applications.
Patterson was also ordered to pay $133,802 in restitution.
This case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicole Elver and Christopher Tieke prosecuted the case.
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.