Fraud SBA Applicants to be prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department

Two men from New England are facing charges of attempting to defraud the government’s $660 billion SBA lending program, designed to help small businesses maintain workers on payroll. David Staveley from Massachusetts and David Butziger from Rhode Island are accused of trying to steal money from the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to provide low-interest loans that can be forgiven if certain criteria are met.

E-mail records show the two men contacting each other about creating fake loan applications and documents. The request was for half a million dollars to pay dozens of employees working at three different restaurants, but there were no employees, two of the three restaurants had closed before the Coronavirus pandemic even caused closures. The third was that of a restaurant Stavely did not have relationships with.

Butziger applied for a separate $105,000 loan for a company called “Dock Wireless,” a company that supposedly had a total of 7 employees. However, none of the people named in the application actually worked with Butziger.

Neither was granted a loan, but instead faces federal charges.

With frauds from 2008 Financial Crisis assistance programs as experience, the Justice Department and the US Attorney’s offices hope to minimize fraudulent activities as much as possible.  The US Justice Department reported working with banks, the Small Business Administration, and the Treasury Department. With the Coronavirus pandemic making grand juries and in-person interviews difficult, the Justice Department hopes that such aspects will be more readily available in the near future.

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