A 10% success rate is not something to brag about. It certainly seems like it wouldn’t achieve much in gains. But in the world of probability, success is based on the chances of winning divided by the total number of chances available. In the world of fraud, every opportunity is a chance! Therefore, the opportunities to steal from the U.S. taxpayer is infinite. Fraudsters like Justin Eugene Dowie like those odds. And Dowie turned every chance into a fraudulent opportunity.
In 2020 and 2021, Dowie applied for approximately $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans using his name and an unlucky stolen identity. While many of his attempts were unsuccessful, Dowie still received over $100,000 fraudulent proceeds. A 10% success rate. During the same timeframe, Dowie also applied for and received over $50,000 in fraudulent unemployment insurance benefits from the State of Iowa, again using his own name and that unlucky stolen identity. Useful funds that can be used to maintain the house Dowie stole.
While a self-proclaimed businessman in Cedar Rapids, Dowie may be more known for his criminal convictions. After all, upon his COVID-19 pandemic aid fraud arrests, Dowie was already a convicted felon with sixteen prior criminal convictions. A wide range of crime, but most notable could have been in 2018 when Dowie refused to leave another man’s home after the other man had temporarily allowed Dowie to stay in the home during a snowstorm. The other man ultimately had to leave his own home when Dowie took it over illegally. An advance sign or warning of what is to come? The law of probabilities say definitely!
Excellent job by the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
Today’s Fraud of The Day is based on article “Former Iowa Businessman Sentenced to Federal Prison in Pandemic Benefits Fraud Scheme” published by the Atlantic News on January 12, 2024.
A former Iowa businessman who defrauded the federal and state governments out of over $150,000 in pandemic benefits, and who also possessed firearms and ammunition after multiple prior felony convictions, was sentenced today to five years in federal prison. Justin Eugene Dowie, age 41, from Cedar Rapids, received the prison term after pleading guilty on July 19, 2023, to one count of bank fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of possessing ammunition as a felon.
Evidence at Dowie’s sentencing, and other hearings in the case, showed that, in 2020 and 2021, Dowie repeatedly submitted false applications to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) in attempts to receive Paycheck Protection Program loans (“PPPs”) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDLs”). During the pandemic, Congress authorized PPPs and EIDLs to assist businesses and individuals suffering financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic.