We know now that it really didn’t take much to apply for and receive fraudulent funds from the COVID-19 Small Business loans that were given during the pandemic. No lie on the applications was too flagrant to raise any red flags in the vetting process. But William Dexter Lucas didn’t know this at the time that he applied for over $250,000 in Economic Injury and Paycheck Protection Program loans. So, he really put extra consideration into what would appear needy enough in his application to not be rejected. Consequently, Lucas created a fake church as the business entity in need. Loans approved and forgiven! Can I get an Amen for fraud?
To facilitate his scheme, Lucas set up and claimed to operate the “Jesus Survives Ministry,” a church that existed only on paper. Upholding the title of “pastor” of the nonexistent church, Lucas applied, in 2020, for multiple Economic Injury and Paycheck Protection Program loans. But he didn’t just limit his fraud to the U.S. government. Supplying “employee” names for the payroll needs was for Pastor Lucas. He just used the stolen identities that he was using for his other scheme.
From 2017 to 2020, using roughly twenty different known aliases, Lucas applied for multiple car loans by submitting various fraudulent forms and financial statements. He fraudulently obtained several hundred thousand dollars’ worth of cars to drive for himself or resell with no intention to repay the loans obtained with stolen identities. When authorities began investigating Lucas’s crimes, he attempted to cover them up by filing false claims of stolen identity with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC didn’t like that. On December 1, 2023, Lucas was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison where he can be the Pastor of Fraud.
Excellent job by the Federal Trade Commission for not accepting Lucas’s bogus stolen identity claim.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Bryan man sentenced for over $200,000 in wire fraud” published by The Eagle on December 9, 2023
Almost a year after pleading guilty, a Bryan man has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison and fined nearly $30,000 for fake car loans and payroll scams, according to the Southern District of Texas Department of Justice.
William Dexter Lucas, 61, pled guilty on Dec. 8, 2022, for taking part in a scheme to steal funds from the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) and falsely obtaining car loans from car dealerships. William was originally charged on Sept. 17, 2020, along with Deborah Jean Lucas, 64, of Bryan, and Brian Corpian, 45, of Houston, according to the DOJ.