HARRIS COUNTY, Texas – A Harris County man was arrested Tuesday, accused of fraudulently acquiring more than $3.3 million in funds through the government’s coronavirus pandemic Paycheck Protection Program.
The U.S. government offered PPP loans as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help businesses manage the financial stresses caused by the pandemic.
Scott Jackson Davis, 46, allegedly spent the money on luxury cars, private jet travel and real estate, the Department of Justice said Tuesday. A 2020 Cadillac Escalade, a 2021 GMC Sierra, a 5.58 carat diamond purchased for approximately $30,000, a 2.6 carat diamond purchased for approximately $6,500, and two Harris County properties are listed in an indictment as items to be seized from Jackson.
Davis fraudulently submitted PPP loan applications for three businesses he claimed to represent: Skilled Trade Investments LP (STILP), Skilled Trade Staffing LLC (STS), and Skilled Trade Investments Group LLC (STIGP).
According to authorities, Davis was able to acquire over $3.3 million in funds by claiming the three businesses had several employees and significant payroll expenses. In actuality, the businesses had few, if any, employees and little to no payroll expenses, the DOJ said.
Davis is charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.
Previously, in April 2017, Davis pleaded guilty to felony wire fraud charges – a conviction authorities say he deliberately lied about on his PPP loan applications.
Davis made his initial court appearance Tuesday. If convicted, he faces a maximum total penalty of 30 years in prison for each count of bank fraud, 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud, and 10 years in prison for each count of money laundering.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 relief funds is urged to report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.