Fairhope Man Pleads Guilty to Over $1.2 Million in PPP Fraud
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Alabama:
MOBILE, AL – Jason Carl Pears of Fairhope, Alabama, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering before United States District Judge Terry F. Moorer on August 26, 2022. The guilty plea arises from Pears’ abuse of assistance programs provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to court documents filed in connection with his guilty plea, Pears obtained two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans on behalf of two companies: The Jason Made It Company and Nanny For A Week. Pears utilized false tax forms, altered checks, and falsified loan documents to obtain the loans. After successfully securing over $1.2 million in PPP loan funds, Pears spent the money on luxury goods and real estate, among other things. Pears is due to be sentenced before Judge Moorer on November 18, 2022.
U. S. Attorney Sean P. Costello said, “Criminals who refuse to play by the rules and lie, cheat, and steal money will be tracked down. We continue to work with our partners in law enforcement to identify and prosecute anyone who abuses the system for their own selfish gain.”
“The Payroll Protection Program was designed to alleviate some of the financial hardship caused by the pandemic. By falsely claiming benefits from this program, Mr. Pears victimized the American taxpayer and took money away from deserving people in need. The FBI remains committed to investigating fraud against the government and protecting the American people” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Paul Brown.
The case was investigated by a joint task force of Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kasee Heisterhagen prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.