In a recent development, a New York man has been charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $1 million in a COVID-19 scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger. The man, Terrell Fuller, 33, from Brooklyn, New York, faces one count of wire fraud. The charges allege that a fraudulent application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program was made to the Small Business Association (SBA) on behalf of a business, resulting in the SBA providing $1.2 million in response. Approximately $400,000 of those funds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Fuller. If convicted, Fuller could face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Fraud charges against New York man
A New York man, Terrell Fuller, has been charged with fraudulently obtaining over $1 million in a COVID-19 scheme. The charges were announced by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger. Fuller is scheduled to appear in court to face one count of wire fraud.
Amount of money fraudulently obtained
According to court documents, a fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application was made on behalf of a business, resulting in the Small Business Association (SBA) providing $1.2 million in response. Approximately $400,000 of the funds were eventually deposited into bank accounts where Fuller was the sole signatory.
Brief description of the charges
Fuller has been charged with wire fraud, a crime punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine of the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits, or twice the gross loss suffered by the victims of his offense.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The CARES Act, enacted in March 2020, aimed to provide emergency financial assistance to individuals and businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It authorized the SBA to offer funding through the EIDL program.
Small Business Association (SBA) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program
The SBA is a government agency that provides support to small businesses. The EIDL program, administered by the SBA, offers loans to businesses that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of a disaster.
The Fraudulent Scheme
Introduction to the fraudulent scheme
According to the investigation, a fraudulent scheme was carried out to obtain funds through the EIDL program. This scheme involved submitting a fake application on behalf of a business to fraudulently secure financial assistance.
Filing of fraudulent EIDL application
In September 2021, an EIDL application was submitted to the SBA on behalf of a business. The application was found to be fraudulent and did not represent the actual business seeking assistance.
Disbursement of funds
Based on the fraudulent application, the SBA disbursed $1.2 million in response to the request. The funds were intended to provide economic relief to the business suffering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Involvement of Terrell Fuller
Investigation revealed that approximately $400,000 of the disbursed funds ended up in bank accounts where Terrell Fuller was the sole signatory. This involvement led to his arrest and subsequent charges of wire fraud.
Wire fraud charge
Terrell Fuller has been charged with wire fraud, a serious offense that carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a fine based on the greater of $250,000, twice the gross profits, or twice the gross loss incurred by the victims of his fraudulent activities.
If convicted, Fuller could face severe consequences, including significant jail time and substantial financial penalties. The specific penalty will depend on various factors, including the determination of the court based on the evidence presented during the trial.
Investigation and Arrest
Involvement of law enforcement agencies
The investigation into the fraudulent scheme and subsequent arrest of Terrell Fuller was conducted by various law enforcement agencies. Special agents from the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, played a crucial role in uncovering the fraudulent activities.
Thanks and credits to agencies
U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger expressed gratitude to the FBI, IRS – Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, the New York Police Department, and FBI – New York for their valuable contributions and assistance during the investigation leading to the arrest.
Terrell Fuller will have legal representation throughout the legal process. The court will appoint or allow Fuller to choose an attorney to advocate for his defense against the charges brought against him.
Innocence Until Proven Guilty
Accusations and presumption of innocence
It is critical to remember that the charges against Terrell Fuller are accusations at this stage. He is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. The burden of proof rests with the prosecution to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
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Relevant contact details for the U.S. Attorney’s Office
For more information or any inquiries related to the case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office can be contacted using the following details:
- Main Office: 970 Broad Street, 7th Floor Newark, NJ 07102
- Newark: 973-645-2700
- Hearing Impaired: 973-645-6227
- Fax: 973-645-2702
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