Texas man facing multiple charges in connection with $5 million coronavirus relief fraud

MAUD, Texas – A Texas man is facing serious charges after fraudulently seeking millions from forgivable loans meant to help businesses suffering in the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the DOJ, Samuel Yates, 32, of Maud, took out loans from two different banks under the CARES Act, claiming he had hundreds of employees working for him.

Yates reportedly made two fraudulent applications to two different lenders, according to unsealed court documents.

The documents revealed that Yates sought $5 million through the Paycheck Protection Program by claiming he had over 400 employees and a $2 million monthly payroll, according to the DOJ. Yates was also able to get over $500,000 from another lender by claiming he had over 100 employees, the DOJ said.

Each application had a list of false names Yates obtained via an online random name generator and forged tax documents, according to the DOJ.

Yates is charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements to a financial institution, and false statements to the SBA, the DOJ said.

“This defendant allegedly sought to steal millions of dollars in loans intended to aid legitimate small businesses grappling with the economic effects of COVID-19,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department and our law enforcement partners will use all the tools at our disposal to investigate and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”

To report potential fraud, call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or file a complaint online at Justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

About the Author:

Daniela Sternitzky-Di Napoli has been a digital news editor at KPRC 2 since 2018. She is a published poet and has background in creative writing and journalism. Daniela has covered events like Hurricane Harvey and the Astros World Series win. In her spare time, Daniela is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her two miniature dachshunds.