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Original Sin

Senior Director of Strategic Alliances
LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Original sin is the Christian doctrine that holds that all humans, through the fact of birth, inherit a tainted nature with a proclivity to sinful conduct in need of regeneration. And man’s weakened nature and inclination to evil is a constant spiritual battle. We are only human. Cut each some slack. Ask forgiveness and give forgiveness. But there was no forgiveness granted by the federal court on March 18, 2024, when clergy man Terrence Pounds was sentenced to nearly eight years in prison for being the leader of a scheme that obtained more than $4.2 million in coronavirus-relief funds for bogus churches.

Pounds recruited individuals, not to save them. But for their personal identifying information, which he then used to apply for at least sixty Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans, seeking approximately $9 million in funds. While Pounds listed those individuals as the business owner or applicant in most applications, he repeatedly made the same false statements in numerous applications submitted both for himself and the others. He claimed that each applicant operated a non-profit organization that was a “Faith-Based Organization” or a “Church” with, among other traits, $1,000,000 in revenue and 15 employees. Exactly the criteria that the Small Business Administration is looking for in long applications. And who is going to reject an application from a church? And risk the rath of the powers that be? No one. Pounds was banking on that.

However, there are no services at these churches. Nor is Pounds feeding the poor and helping the underprivileged. He is only stealing from the U.S. taxpayer. Pounds used the money he made from this scheme, from both loans he received directly, to purchase joy rides. Specifically, a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 2021 Kia Telluride, a 2020 Hyundai Elantra and a 2020 BMW X4. He will be handing those keys over to help pay for restitution.

Great job by the COVID Fraud Task Force in this case.

Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Holland man sentenced to eight years for coronavirus loan fraud” published by The Toledo Blade on March 18, 2024.

A Holland man has been sentenced to nearly eight years in federal prison after admitting to fraudulently obtaining more than $4.2 million in coronavirus-relief funds for bogus businesses.

Terrence L. Pounds, 47, had pleaded guilty May 11, 2022, in U.S. District Court in Akron to 13 felony counts, including one of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine of wire fraud, and three of money laundering.

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