In a recent settlement agreement, Real Estate Broker Chad Wade and his affiliated companies have agreed to pay over $4 million to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by providing false information to obtain multiple Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans. Wade and his companies were accused of submitting fraudulent applications and documents, including false tax and wage reports, in order to secure these loans. The funds were then allegedly misused to finance a lavish lifestyle and grow Wade’s real estate businesses. This settlement serves as a notable example of the government’s commitment to investigating and prosecuting COVID-related fraud, with Wade also facing criminal charges and a forthcoming sentencing.
Introduction to the case
In a recent settlement agreement, real estate broker Chad Wade, along with his companies Ideal Property Holdings, LLC; Grand Panama Resort Properties, LLC; Beach Life Properties PCB, LLC; First Texas Mortgage, LLC; PCB Limousine, LLC; South Houston Vending Company, LLC; and Emerald Oak Stables, LLC, have resolved allegations of violating the False Claims Act (FCA). The charges stem from Wade’s involvement in knowingly providing false information to obtain multiple Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) loans.
Overview of False Claims Act allegations
Under the False Claims Act, individuals and companies are prohibited from knowingly submitting false or fraudulent claims for payment to the United States government. The act serves as an important tool in preventing fraud and ensuring the integrity of government programs.
The role of Chad Wade and his companies
Chad Wade, a Florida-based real estate broker, was accused of preparing and submitting false and fraudulent loan applications and documents to obtain four EIDL loans and fourteen PPP loans. His companies, including Ideal Property Holdings, LLC and Grand Panama Resort Properties, LLC, were also implicated in the allegations. Wade used the obtained funds for personal gain and to expand his real estate businesses, violating the terms of the EIDL and PPP programs.
Details of the settlement
As part of the settlement agreement, Chad Wade and his companies have agreed to pay over $4 million to resolve the False Claims Act allegations. The settlement includes damages and penalties, with a significant portion designated as restitution.
Payment and penalties
Chad Wade has agreed to pay $4,027,804.69 in damages and penalties under the False Claims Act. These payments serve to hold Wade and his companies accountable for their fraudulent actions and provide restitution to the government and affected parties.
Of the total settlement amount, $1,579,531.25 has been designated as restitution. This restitution will help compensate for the funds misused and ensure that affected parties receive appropriate compensation for the damages incurred.
Criminal Charges and Sentencing
Chad Wade’s guilty plea
Chad Wade has pleaded guilty to three criminal counts related to the fraudulent EIDL and PPP loans. The charges include wire fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud. By pleading guilty, Wade has acknowledged his involvement in these criminal activities and accepted responsibility for his actions.
Criminal counts and charges
Wade’s guilty plea encompasses three criminal counts: wire fraud, money laundering, and bankruptcy fraud. These charges reflect the seriousness of his actions and their impact on the government’s financial assistance programs.
Sentencing date and potential consequences
Chad Wade’s sentencing is scheduled for October 19, 2023. At the sentencing hearing, the court will consider the nature of his crimes, any mitigating factors, and the applicable sentencing guidelines. The potential consequences may include imprisonment, fines, and additional penalties as deemed appropriate by the court.
False Claims and Fraudulent Loans
Description of the false and fraudulent loan applications
Chad Wade’s false and fraudulent loan applications involved the submission of inaccurate information to obtain EIDL and PPP loans. These applications contained false federal and state tax documents, as well as false employee wage reports, in order to fraudulently obtain financial assistance.
Submission of false documents
As part of the fraudulent loan applications, Chad Wade submitted numerous false documents to support his claims. These documents included falsified federal and state tax documents, which misrepresented his financial status and eligibility for assistance.
Misuse of funds for personal gain
Instead of using the obtained funds for their intended purposes, Chad Wade used the EIDL and PPP funds to grow his real estate businesses, purchase luxury items, pay personal expenses, and fund a lavish lifestyle. This misuse of funds directly violated the terms and conditions of the EIDL and PPP programs.
Investigation and Enforcement
Law enforcement partners involved
The investigation into Chad Wade’s fraudulent activities involved collaboration among various law enforcement partners. These partners worked together to gather evidence, analyze financial transactions, and build a strong case against Wade and his companies.
Role of the U.S. Department of Justice
The U.S. Department of Justice played a crucial role in investigating and prosecuting the False Claims Act allegations against Chad Wade. The department’s commitment to upholding the integrity of government programs and pursuing individuals and companies engaged in fraudulent activities is instrumental in deterring future fraud.
Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Admission Office
The U.S. Small Business Admission (SBA) Office provided valuable assistance in the investigation into Chad Wade’s fraudulent activities. The SBA’s expertise in administering the EIDL and PPP programs, along with their resources and support, contributed to the successful resolution of this case.
Statement from U.S. Attorney Coody
Disapproval of theft of taxpayer funds
U.S. Attorney Jason R. Coody expressed strong disapproval for the theft of taxpayer funds, particularly in the context of emergency financial assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized that any amount of taxpayer funds being diverted for personal gain is inexcusable and will not be tolerated.
Sentencing as a deterrent to future fraud
U.S. Attorney Coody emphasized the importance of sentencing Chad Wade to serve as a significant deterrent for those who might consider engaging in fraudulent activities. The severity of the consequences faced by Wade as a result of his guilty plea and subsequent sentencing serves as a warning to would-be fraudsters.
Commitment to investigating COVID-related fraud
U.S. Attorney Coody reaffirmed the commitment of law enforcement partners to thoroughly investigate and prosecute acts of COVID-related fraud. As the pandemic has heightened the vulnerability of government assistance programs, it is essential to maintain the integrity and effectiveness of these programs.
SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Statement
Strong message of accountability
The SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG) expressed a strong message of accountability in response to the settlement agreement. They emphasized that those responsible for falsifying information to gain access to federal funds intended to support small businesses will be held accountable for their actions.
Thanks to law enforcement partners
The SBA OIG extended their gratitude to the U.S. Department of Justice and other law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice in this case. Through collaboration and cooperation, they were able to successfully resolve this matter and ensure accountability.
Pursuit of justice
The SBA OIG reaffirmed their commitment to pursuing justice and holding individuals and companies accountable for their fraudulent actions. By investigating and prosecuting cases of fraud, they contribute to the prevention and deterrence of future fraudulent activities.
Handling of Civil and Criminal Matters
Assistant United States Attorneys involved
Assistant United States Attorneys Mary Ann Couch and Marie Moyle handled the civil matter related to the False Claims Act allegations against Chad Wade and his companies. Their expertise in civil litigation and commitment to upholding the law were instrumental in achieving a successful settlement.
Prosecution of the criminal case
Assistant United States Attorney Corey J. Smith from the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida prosecuted the criminal case against Chad Wade. Through diligent investigation and vigorous prosecution, Assistant U.S. Attorney Smith sought justice for the fraudulent actions committed by Wade.
Assistance from the U.S. Small Business Admission components
The U.S. Small Business Admission (SBA) components, including the Office of General Counsel and the Office of Inspector General, provided valuable assistance throughout the civil and criminal matters. Their expertise and resources contributed to the successful resolution of the case.
About the U.S. Attorney’s Office
Role as one of the nation’s principal litigators
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices nationwide that serves as one of the nation’s principal litigators. These offices operate under the direction of the Attorney General and are responsible for enforcing federal law and representing the United States in civil and criminal matters.
Access to public court documents
Public court documents related to cases prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida can be accessed online through the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida’s website. This transparency allows the public to stay informed about ongoing cases and their outcomes.
Website for more information
For further information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, including its mission, leadership, and achievements, visit their official website at http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html. The website provides a comprehensive overview of the office’s work and serves as a valuable resource for those seeking more information.
Phone number and email for the U.S. Attorney’s Office
For inquiries or assistance regarding the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, individuals can contact them via phone at (850) 216-3845 or through email at email@example.com. These contact details provide direct access to the office for any questions or concerns.
Follow on Twitter for updates
To stay updated on the latest news and updates from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida, individuals can follow their Twitter account @NDFLnews. Following the office’s Twitter account ensures timely access to information and announcements regarding ongoing cases and developments.
Updated date of the press release
The press release was originally issued on August 16, 2023. Individuals should refer to the U.S. Department of Justice’s website or contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida for the most up-to-date information regarding this case.