Hazelwood Man Sentenced to 111 Months in Prison for Schemes Seeking $404,000
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Eastern District of Missouri
ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp on Thursday sentenced a man from Hazelwood, Missouri who committed a series of scams trying to steal a total of $404,415 to 111 months in prison and ordered him to repay the money.
Naquan Powers, 27, pleaded guilty in March to four felony counts of bank fraud and three felony counts of aggravated ID theft. He admitted involvement in the fraudulent purchase of vehicles, a credit card scam and fraud involving two pandemic relief programs.
In 2018 and 2019, Powers accessed multiple Discover Bank accounts belonging to other people and changed information in these accounts so he could receive debit cards and bank checks for the accounts. Powers’ intended loss for this scheme was $11,754.
Powers used fraudulent Social Security cards and driver’s licenses to apply for loans to purchase three vehicles from a Florissant dealership between June 24, 2019 and August 23, 2019. Powers bought a Chevrolet Impala with a $18,098 loan, a $42,086 Chevrolet Tahoe and a BMW 428 XI for $29,079. He was arrested trying to buy a Dodge Challenger with a $38,191 loan.
After his arrest, Powers helped others to do the same thing at dealers throughout the St. Louis and southern Illinois areas, causing a total loss of $244,374.
In 2020 and 2021, Powers applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and four Economic Injury and Disaster Loans, claiming he was a sole proprietor in the general freight trucking industry. Powers submitted a fraudulent tax form and a bank statement and received $20,832 in PPP funds.
“Mr. Powers not only stole individuals’ identities for his personal gain but led multiple fraud schemes including stealing money intended for legitimate businesses that were impacted by COVID-19,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “This sentence demonstrates our diligent commitment to hold those accountable for misusing Social Security numbers.”
Five others involved with Powers’ schemes have also been charged. Four have pleaded guilty and been sentenced to between 24 and 51 months in prison. They were also ordered to pay restitution.
The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke is prosecuting the case.