Jason Carl Pears was having a difficult time during the pandemic, according to his lawyer in Southern District of Alabama federal court on August 26th. But it was no excuse for concocting not one but two schemes to steal more than $1 million from the assistance programs provided under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Pears admitted to filing two false applications. The first was on behalf of a business named The Jason Make It Company- the “It” being fraud. Records show that the first loan was funded in the amount of $212,517. Pears admitted that he made a number of false statements on his loan applications and submitted a fabricated W-3 form.
The second loan, for $995,567, was filed using someone else’s Social Security number without that person’s knowledge. But it wasn’t just a random social security number used by Pears. It was his disabled mom’s. Pears resurrected a business run years ago by his mom called Nanny For A Week.
Pears didn’t use this money for business or his disabled mom. He had a good time. After buying two properties in Fairhope, AL, Pears bought a piano, furniture and “voluminous luxury goods” from high-tend retailers like Louis Vuitton and Gucci. Investigators determined funds from the program also had paid for cosmetic surgery, elaborate trips and vehicles.
Per a plea bargain, Pears pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Originally, prosecutors accused Pears of committing identity theft by using his mother’s Social Security number without her knowledge. But that charge will be dropped as part of the plea bargain. It’s a lesser penalty to steal from your disabled mother apparently.
Pears is due to be sentenced before Judge Moorer on November 18, 2022.
Excellent job by the FBI and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General with this investigation.
Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “Fairhope man pleads guilty to $1.2 million COVID-19 fraud” published by AL News on September 1, 2022
A Fairhope man has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering after getting $1.2 million in COVID relief money by deception and spending it on luxury goods and real estate.
According to information released by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama, Jason Carl Pears entered the guilty plea Aug. 26. He had been charged with three counts of wire fraud, 22 counts of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft. He entered guilty pleas on two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.