We don’t need much more proof that fraud was rampant in the COVID-19 relief funds established in the American Rescue Plan to aid Americans during the pandemic. The U.S Government have already estimated the numbers siphoned from aid to be over $100 billion. With an economic crisis looming and citizen hardship growing, restrictions were eased with the intent to get the aid out as quickly as possible. But every once in a while there is a fraudster that can make us question whether there was any screening of COVID aid applications at all. Like Andrew Hollins. Also known as Andrew Jones. Also known as Grandma and Grandpa. Also known as “Thuggin.”
Andrew Hollins allegedly fraudulently filed for COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans for two fake companies, A.J. Motors and The Krusty Krab Shack. No, he did not use the name Sponge Bob Square Pants as the owner, unfortunately. He had established the businesses with two bank accounts using the name Andrew Jones. Hollins supplied the applications with false receipts of sales, employee count and cost of goods sold. He also allegedly submitted a fraudulent EIDL loan application in the name of his friend’s grandparents. Once he received the funds, he laundered the money by purchasing blank money orders at Shaw’s Supermarkets in Vermont. Many of those money orders were made payable to third parties, who cashed the money orders and returned the proceeds to Hollins in exchange for drugs.
Wait! Drugs? Yes, because our fraudster is also a drug dealer. Hollins has a third name. When he is on the streets, he goes by “Thuggin.” Thuggin’s drug career began way before his fraudster career, with criminal records starting in June 2013 for firearms, burglary, and drug dealing, along with an equally long history of parole violations.
Great job by the Attorney General’s Office. Court date has yet to be set.
Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on article “Convicted drug dealer indicted in federal fraud case” published y The Barre Montpelier Times Argue on December 16, 2022
A convicted Essex Junction drug dealer has been indicted for illegally obtaining hundreds of thousands of dollars by defrauding a federal relief program by filing for false COVID-related business loans, federal court records show.
Andrew Hollins, 36, of Pearl Street, opened bank accounts in Vermont in the name of Andrew Jones and also created two businesses with related bank accounts — A.J. Motor Cars LLC and The Krusty Krab Shack LLC — as part of the fraud, the indictment stated.