A man was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison for attempting to scam the US government. Hundreds of thousands of dollars in Covid-19 relief funds before faking his own death. Acting US Attorney William M Myrus said on Thursday that Michael Isaac Staveley is the first individual in the US to be prosecuted for illegally receiving forgiven epidemic relief financial assistance under the CARES Act.
On behalf of numerous companies with significant monthly payments, Michael and his accomplice Peter Andrew Butziger submitted four false loan applications to a South State bank.
Additionally, they applied for loans for two Middletown, South Island restaurants, a German, Pennsylvania restaurant, and a mobile firm. None of which owned by Michael.
‘A concerned citizen knowing of the false nature of the loan applications brought them to the attention of law enforcement. Which ultimately led to their denial,’ according to a sentencing letter.
However, Michael was release to home detention with an electronic monitoring device after appearing in US District Court in May 2021. He removed his tracking device, staged his own suicide. And fled three weeks after being accuse of illegally seeking small business loans.
Fakes Suicide After Faking Covid Relief Funds
According to the Washington Post, Michael left suicide letters with family members, many of whom assumed he was dead.
Many others close to him, including his 80-year-old mother, received the messages. Law authorities conducted a search and rescue for him when his unlocked vehicle was discover on a beach near the North Atlantic, keys in the ignition with his wallet.
Michael used fake identities and stolen license plates to travel around the country while on the run. After being on the run for over two months, he was capture by US Marshals in Roswell, Florida. Michael overseen by the government for three years.
Butziger, 53, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in September 2020. He will not be sentence until November 1.
The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation were in charge of investigating this event, and Assistant US Attorney Robert H Downey is prosecuting the charges.
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