COVID Fraud Lands Norman Man in Federal Prison for Two Years
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma
OKLAHOMA CITY – Earlier this week, BRIAN LEE FOSTER, 54, of Norman, Oklahoma, was sentenced to serve two years in prison for his role in a Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.
On September 7, 2022, a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment against Foster, charging him with making false statements to a financial institution on loan applications under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES Act provided more than $2 trillion in relief for individuals and businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act also authorized the U.S. Small Business Administration to create the PPP to promote lending to small businesses affected by the pandemic for job retention and certain other expenses.
According to the indictment, Foster applied for and obtained more than $40,000 in PPP loans in his name and the name of another. The indictment alleges that Foster made false statements on the PPP loan applications, by providing false payroll information and providing false tax documentation. The indictment alleges Foster used the loan proceeds for his personal benefit.
On November 15, 2022, Foster pleaded guilty to Count 2 of the indictment and admitted that he made false statements to a financial institution on a PPP loan application. He further admitted to submitting false income information in connection with the loan application.
At a sentencing hearing yesterday, U.S. District Judge Scott Palk sentenced Foster to serve 24 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release. In announcing the sentence, the court noted that the defendant’s conduct was dishonest and demonstrated his willingness to lie for personal gain, at the risk of others who were entitled to relief benefits. The court also noted that Foster committed the offense while awaiting sentencing in another federal criminal case and ordered Foster to pay $21,474.76 in restitution to the U.S. Small Business Administration.
This case is the result of an investigation by the FBI Oklahoma City Field Office and the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jessica Perry prosecuted the case.
Reference is made to court filings for further information.
Updated September 29, 2023