Massachusetts businessman, David Staveley, 54, who faked his death after he scammed government out of $544,000 in PPP funds is convicted of fraud and sent to prison for 56 months
David Staveley, aka Kurt David Sanborn, aka David Sanborn, faked his own death, left a suicide note, convincing family, feds and some associates that he’d taken his own life, and went on the run
It was a ploy to evade prosecution following his arrest for scamming the government out of $544,000 in PPP funds
David Adler Staveley, 54, faked his own death after scamming the federal government out of over a half million, convincing fen dollars in PPP loans
The Staveley, 54, of Andover Massachusetts, was convicted of defrauding the CARES Act on Thursday, according to the US Dept. of Justice
Staveley conspired with David Andrew Butziger, 53, of Rhode Island, to file four fraudulent CARES Act PPP forgivable loan applications with a Rhode Island bank in April 2020
The men were convicted for bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to influence the Small Business Administration, aggravated identity theft and failure to appear in court
Staveley was sentenced to 56 months in prison, while his accomplice, Butziger, will be sentenced on Nov. 1
Both were arrested in May 2020 and released with electronic monitoring bracelets
About three weeks after his release, Staveley removed the device and faked his death by leaving a suicide note in his car, which he parked by the Atlantic Ocean
The fugitive traveled to several states using false identities and stolen license plates, feds said
Two men from New England area who scammed the federal government COVID relief program were arrested Tuesday by a joint force of local police and FBI agents at their home in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
One of the men, David Adler Staveley of Andover, Massachusetts who feds said faked his s own death in an effort to evade arrest after scamming the federal government out of more than half a million dollars in PPP loans was convicted of defrauding the CARES Act.
54-year-old Staveley, looking quite lively for a supposedly dead man, was convicted on counts of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to influence the Small Business Administration, aggravated identity theft as well as failure to appear in court, the US Department of Justice said Thursday.
The US Attorney’s Office said Staveley, who goes by several aliases including Kurt David Sanborn and David Sanborn, conspired with David Andrew Butziger, 53, of Rhode Island, to file four fraudulent CARES Act PPP forgivable loan applications with a Rhode Island bank back in April 2020.
The defendants in their applications falsely claimed that they owned four businesses, three of which were restaurants, with large monthly payrolls when, in fact, they did not own the businesses at all, making off with nearly $544,000 in coronavirus relief funds.
David Staveley and David Butziger had applied for and received over $438,000 for the restaurants and just over $105,000 for another company, called Dock Wireless, based out of Warwick, Rhode Island.
Massachusetts police after receiving a tip on the scam, contacted the FBI and federal investigators interviewed several people Butziger claimed were employees at Dock Wireless.
In Rhode Island, the state has no record of David Butziger paying employees this year and several supposed employees interviewed by agents said they never worked for him or Dock Wireless.
Meanwhile, the restaurants the pair claimed on their applications were closed at the time Staveley and Butziger applied for the PPP loans, setting off another red flag for investigators.
Both were arrested in May 2020 and released with electronic monitoring bracelets.
Federal authorities said about three weeks after his release, Staveley removed the device and faked his death after leaving a suicide note in his car, which he had parked by the Atlantic Ocean.
‘Staveley left suicide notes with associates and left his wallet in his unlocked car that he parked along the ocean in Massachusetts,’ the press release stated.
Authorities claim Staveley traveled to several states while on the run while using false identities and stolen license plates.
However, while Staveley’s family and friends initially believed he’d killed himself, several of his associates told law enforcement that they he faked his suicide to evade prosecution.
‘Many of his family members and associates were left with the belief that Staveley had indeed killed himself, though the ones who knew him best informed law enforcement that they suspected this to be yet another scheme orchestrated by the defendant,’ prosecutors said in the press release.
Staveley was sentenced to four years and eight months in federal prison for the crime.
Following his 56-month prison sentence, Staveley will spend three years on federal supervised release, according to prosecutors.
Meanwhile, Butziger is scheduled to be sentenced on November 1, 2021.
The Paycheck Protection Program was introduced to help protect jobs amid the COVID-19 crisis, and allows small businesses to apply for low-interest loans of up to $10 million.
The loan proceeds may be used to cover the business’ payroll costs, rent, interest, and utilities. The loan may be partially or fully forgiven if the business keeps its employee counts and employee wages stable.
Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski told USA Today that he does not believe Staveley and Butzinger are the only people who have filed false claims.
*’What we see coming out of Rhode Island is what’s happening across the country. We have a lot of leads,’ he stated.
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