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East Texas man pleads guilty to $5 million in COVID relief fraud

(Source: MGN)
(Source: MGN)(MGN)
Published: May. 6, 2022 at 12:56 PM CDT

TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - A man is facing the chance of 20 years in jail following a scheme to get millions in COVID relief funds.

Samuel Yates, 32, of Maud, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud on the morning of Friday, May 6.

In April 2020, Yates submitted two fraudulent applications to two different lenders seeking more than $5 million in forgivable loans. In the first PPP loan, he claimed to have over 400 employees with an average monthly payroll of more than $2 million dollars. In the second application, he claimed to employ over 100 individuals and was able to get a loan of over $500,000.

According to a news release, he submitted a list of names created by a random name generator on the web along with forged tax documents.

These Government loans, funded by taxpayers, were designed to aid businesses in weathering the pandemic-related economic storm. Yates chose to fraudulently take advantage of the goodwill of the American people by attempting to steal CARES Act funding. Those who seek to misappropriate these vital funds should tread carefully as they will be identified, investigated, and prosecuted ... period.

U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston, in a news release.

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