Lee’s Summit Business Owner Indicted for CARES Act Fraud Scheme
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Lee’s Summit, Mo., business owner has been indicted by a federal grand jury for spending more than $900,000 in federal COVID-19 business relief funds on personal real estate purchases and a Chevrolet Camaro.
Sammy Adam Joseph, 47, was charged in an eight-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, Nov. 8. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Joseph’s arrest and initial court appearance.
Joseph remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. According to the government’s motion for detention, Joseph is a flight risk because he owns a condominium in Lebanon and has traveled to Lebanon three times in 2023. Joseph also poses a risk to the community because he has been identified in social media photos with assault weapons.
Joseph is the owner of Adams & Joseph, Inc., which operates two gas stations in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. According to the indictment, his business received nearly $1.9 million under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The purpose of the CARES Act was to provide emergency financial assistance due to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized the Small Business Administration to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans to eligible small businesses that experienced substantial financial disruption due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the indictment, Adams & Joseph received a total of $1,869,900 in EIDL disbursements between June 2020 and November 2021.
The indictment alleges that Joseph fraudulently used at least $900,000 of the EIDL proceeds for his own personal benefit by using EIDL money to purchase a residence in Lee’s Summit, parcels of land in Kansas City, Mo., and Lee’s Summit, a building in Grandview, Mo., and a blue 2019 Chevrolet Camaro.
Joseph is charged with six counts of theft of government property, which are related to EIDL proceeds he allegedly spent on unauthorized purchases. Joseph is charged with two counts of money laundering, which are related to monetary transactions of criminally derived property.
The indictment also contains forfeiture allegations, which would require Joseph to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of at least $948,120 and three parcels of real estate in Kansas City, Mo., Lee’s Summit, and Grandview.
The charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.
Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Task Force
The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Task Force was established to promote transparency and facilitate coordinated oversight of the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The PRAC’s 20 member Inspectors General identify major risks that cross program and agency boundaries to detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in the more than $5 trillion in COVID-19 spending, including spending via the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. This case was also supported by the PRAC’s Pandemic Analytics Center of Excellence, which applies the latest advances in analytic and forensic technologies to help OIGs and law enforcement pursue data-driven pandemic relief fraud investigations.
Updated November 14, 2023