GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA – Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced the sentencing of Jeremie Saintvil, 46, of Delray Beach, Fla. Saintvil was sentenced to a total of 17 years in prison followed by five years of supervised release. In addition, Saintvil was ordered to pay $ 1,560,628.38 in restitution to several banks, credit unions and credit card companies, as well as the US Small Business Administration (SBA).
Saintvil’s sentence is the result of an eight-day jury trial which resulted in guilty verdicts on September 24, 2021. Saintvil was convicted of bank fraud, making false statements to a federally insured financial institution , aggravated identity theft and misrepresentation to a federal agency.
âThe theft of vital taxpayer assistance funds and the victimization of our seniors is wrong,â Acting US Attorney Coody said. âThe deceptive and sophisticated acts of this accused not only diverted the emergency financial assistance from small businesses needed to remain in employment, but also victimized our senior citizens, many of whom were due to their advanced age or age. disease, were more vulnerable and unable to easily discern their identity. had been stolen and used for illegal acts. With the help of our dedicated law enforcement partners, we are committed to investigating and prosecuting those who engage in elder abuse and covid fraud. “
Between February 2018 and June 2020, Saintvil submitted fraudulent claims for more than $ 1.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster (EIDL) loans offered by the SBA. As part of his scheme, Saintvil fraudulently obtained the identities of seniors who resided in senior citizens’ residences, which he then portrayed as principals in shell companies seeking forgivable loans. The fraudulent claims, which were made to nine federally insured credit unions, banks and SBAs, distorted the number of employees and salary expenses of the alleged companies, and made numerous other inaccurate statements in support of PPP and EIDL loan applications, including submission of falsified tax documents and banking information.
“Today’s conviction is the final chapter in this investigation and can hopefully begin the healing process for all those affected by the accused’s nefarious actions,” said Brian Payne, Special Agent for IRS criminal investigations. “We will continue to investigate criminals like Saintvil who steal identities, steal taxpayer assistance funds and victimize seniors.”
The CARES (Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security) law is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020. It is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-pandemic. 19. One source of relief under the CARES Act is the authorization of small business forgivable loans for job retention and certain other expenses under the PPP. The Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees PPP loans that are funded by participating financial institutions. The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a two-year term and an interest rate of one percent. Businesses must use the proceeds of the PPP loan for salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The PPP then allows for forgiveness of interest and principal if the companies have spent the loan proceeds on qualifying expenses within a specified time frame and have used at least a certain percentage of the loan proceeds for salary expenses.
“In a time of national turmoil and uncertainty, this defendant blatantly defrauded programs meant to help Americans and their businesses,” Sean T. Ryan, acting special agent in charge of the FBI’s division, told Jacksonville. âHis utter contempt for his fellow citizens during the pandemic – especially vulnerable seniors – has revealed his true colors as a fraudster. The FBI will continue to allocate resources to investigate COVID-19 and elder fraud, and will work alongside our partners to hold accountable those who use illegal means and criminal behavior to take advantage of others. “
âLying to gain access to the SBA’s pandemic response programs is not without consequence,â said Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, special agent in charge of the SBA OIG Eastern region. âOur office will aggressively pursue evidence of wrongdoing and bring those responsible to justice. I want to thank the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice. “
This conviction is the result of a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the SBA-Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. prosecutors Justin M. Keen and David Byron continued the case.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Disaster Fraud Control Center hotline at 866-720- 5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form at: https: //www.justice. gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Since President Trump enacted the bipartisan Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act (EAPPA), the Department of Justice has participated in hundreds of enforcement actions in criminal and civil cases targeting or affecting disproportionately older people. In particular, last March the department announced the largest elder fraud law enforcement action in U.S. history, charging more than 400 defendants in a nationwide fraud sweep. against elders. The Ministry has also organized hundreds of training and awareness sessions across the country since the adoption of the Law. Learn more about the Department of Justice’s initiatives on elder justice and national nursing homes at http://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Florida is one of 94 offices that are the principal trial attorneys in the country under the direction of the Attorney General. To access public court documents online, please visit the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida website. For more information on the United States Attorney’s Office for the North Florida District, visit http://www.justice.gov/usao/fln/index.html.