Former Police Officer Sentenced For Money Laundering
Georgia man will serve 59 months in prison for his role in conspiracy to obtain more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds
“Andre Jackson was a con artist who tried to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for his own personal gain,” said U.S. Attorney Totten. “Anyone who tries to get rich quick by stealing money intended to help those in need should expect to be held fully accountable.”
Jackson is a former police officer from Clayton County, Georgia. In 2020, he introduced fellow Georgia resident James Williams to Jemar Mason and David Kurbanov, both residents of the Western District of Michigan. Williams helped Mason and Kurbanov prepare fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. This Act was a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who were suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was designed to provide small businesses with loans in order to keep employees on payroll. Jackson and his co-conspirators exploited the program to obtain approximately $1.495 million in fraud proceeds.
Afterwards, Jackson attempted to launder some of the proceeds by directing two of his confederates to wire $500,000 to an overseas bank account that Jackson selected. Investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration detected the plot and the Internal Revenue Service took steps to freeze the bank accounts of the conspirators, ultimately recovering approximately $1.123 million of the fraud proceeds. Federal prosecutors in the Western District of Michigan brought charges against five codefendants, including Jackson, all of whom have now been convicted in connection with the scheme.
“Pandemic relief funds in the form of PPP loans were established to help legitimate businesses weather the economic crisis created by COVID-19.” said Charles Miller, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office. “In concert with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners, IRS-CI will continue to track down individuals who attempt to exploit this federal relief program for their own personal greed and hold them accountable for their crimes.”
“Jackson and his co-defendants stole money from the Paycheck Protection Program, which was a critical lifeline for Michigan’s small businesses during the pandemic,” said James A. Tarasca, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Michigan. “It was a serious crime, and the FBI remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners to identify fraudsters like this defendant and hold them fully accountable for their crimes.”
The charges in this case were part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, dubbed Operation Cashout, by law enforcement officers in the Western District of Michigan and the Northern District of Georgia, including the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Michigan State Police, Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET), and the Grand Rapids Police Department.
OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at https://www.justice.gov/OCDETF.