October 7, 2022

Y M L P-260

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Ulster County Person Pleads Guilty to Conspiring to Dedicate COVID-19 Relief Fraud | USAO-NDNY

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jean R. Lavanture, a/k/a “JR,” a/k/a “Rudy Lavanture,” age 48, of Saugerties, New York, pled responsible nowadays to conspiring to dedicate bank fraud and conspiring to dedicate wire fraud, and admitted to fraudulently obtaining $4,870,781 in federal government-backed loans intended for organizations having difficulties with the economic results of the coronavirus pandemic.  Lavanture is the third particular person to plead guilty in this situation.

The announcement was produced by Performing United States Lawyer Antoinette T. Bacon and Janeen DiGuiseppi, Particular Agent in Cost of the Albany Field Place of work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “Mr. Lavanture and his co-conspirator Sean M. Andre took thousands and thousands from COVID-19 relief packages, to the detriment of lenders, the U.S. Compact Organization Administration, and the legitimate enterprises that could have put this income to very good use.  With our regulation enforcement partners, we will proceed to investigate and prosecute fraudsters who prey on federal government-backed mortgage plans intended to stabilize authentic enterprises during an unparalleled pandemic.”

FBI Unique Agent in Charge Janeen DiGuiseppi stated: “Mr. Lavanture stole above $4.5 million from a government plan made to aid smaller firms battling to stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic. Mr. Lavanture and his co-conspirator’s fraud scheme impacted the ability of an untold range of firms, whilst selfishly lining their very own pockets. The FBI, with each other with our partners, will continue to seek out and investigate these callous fraudsters who focus on hardworking Americans.”

In pleading responsible, Lavanture admitted to conspiring with Andre to receive $4,309,581 in Paycheck Security System (PPP) financial loans in between June and August 2020, by distributing fraudulent personal loan programs in the names of four corporations that Lavanture controlled.  Each and every loan software grossly misrepresented each company’s personnel and payroll.  Each individual application also provided wrong company tax paperwork that Andre made as section of the plan.  Lavanture admitted that none of his companies essentially experienced a payroll or workforce. 

Lavanture also admitted that, on his possess, he fraudulently acquired $561,200 in Financial Personal injury Disaster Loans (“EIDLs”) from the U.S. Tiny Enterprise Administration (SBA).

Lavanture agreed to pay back restitution in the amount of money of $4,870,781, and to forfeit proceeds of the fraud, which include a motel residence he bought in Rockaway Seaside, Missouri $476,253.25 in U.S. currency a 2007 Bentley Continental a 2013 BMW X5 and the balances of 19 bank accounts at a total of 9 banks, into which he deposited fraud proceeds. 

Lavanture faces up to 30 decades in jail for financial institution fraud conspiracy, and up to 20 decades in prison for wire fraud conspiracy, when he is sentenced on January 6, 2022 by Main United States District Choose Glenn T. Suddaby.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge primarily based on the certain statute the defendant is billed with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Tips and other elements. 

Lavanture, a citizen of Haiti, has been in custody due to the fact September 17, 2020, when FBI brokers arrested him on a prison grievance. 

Andre, age 31, of Brooklyn, New York, pled responsible on May possibly 26, 2021 to conspiring to commit financial institution fraud and conspiring to dedicate wire fraud.  Andre’s sentencing is scheduled for January 6, 2022. 

Jamur Pharmes, age 43, of Hampton, Georgia, pled guilty on July 1, 2021 to conspiring to dedicate wire fraud.  He admitted that he and Lavanture conspired to submit fraudulent EIDL applications in the names of two companies linked to Pharmes.  Pharmes attained close to $159,900 as a consequence of the scheme, and paid out a $10,000 charge to Lavanture.  Pharmes is scheduled to be sentenced on December 9, 2021. 

This case was investigated by the FBI, Inner Profits Services (IRS)-Criminal Investigation, and the SBA Place of work of Inspector Typical, and is becoming prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Barnett and Joshua R. Rosenthal.

On Could 17, 2021, the Legal professional Basic recognized the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Power to marshal the assets of the Division of Justice in partnership with businesses across governing administration to greatly enhance attempts to combat and prevent pandemic-associated fraud. The Job Power bolsters endeavours to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and worldwide criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering aid applications to prevent fraud by, between other procedures, augmenting and incorporating current coordination mechanisms, determining assets and strategies to uncover fraudulent actors and their strategies, and sharing and harnessing facts and insights obtained from prior enforcement efforts. For more info on the Department’s reaction to the pandemic, make sure you pay a visit to https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus

Any person with details about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by contacting the Section of Justice’s Countrywide Middle for Catastrophe Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by way of the NCDF Website Grievance Variety at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-catastrophe-grievance-sort.