August 18, 2022

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Two Montana guys billed with $1 million COVID-19 aid fraud scheme | USAO-MT

BILLINGS – Two Montana gentlemen ended up arraigned not long ago on costs in link with a plan to defraud a financial institution of roughly $1 million in Paycheck Safety Method (PPP) financial loans and to use all those cash for their particular advantage, including getting house and automobiles, Performing U.S. Legal professional Leif M. Johnson explained today.

Trevor Gene Lanius-McLeod, also recognized as Trevor Gene McLeod, 48, of Laurel, and Kasey Jones Wilson, 29, of Helena, each pleaded not guilty to an indictment charging them with lender fraud and with participating in monetary transactions in assets derived from specified illegal action. If convicted of the most really serious crime, the defendants experience a utmost 30 decades in jail, a $250,000 great and three years of supervised release.

Lanius-McLeod was arraigned on July 27 before U.S. Justice of the peace Decide John T. Johnston in Fantastic Falls. Wilson was arraigned on July 27 ahead of U.S. Magistrate Choose Timothy J. Cavan in Billings. Both of those defendants were being produced pending further proceedings.

The govt alleged in court docket documents, that from about April 2020 to December 2020, the defendants applied for and been given four PPP financial loans totaling $1,043,000 as a result of Valley Financial institution of Helena, a Division of Glacier Bank, on behalf of four business enterprise entities. Lanius-McLeod applied for money as the licensed representative of T. McLeod Holdings LLC, Hilltop Estates LLC, and Renovated Montana Attributes LLP. Lanius-McLeod and Wilson applied for cash as the licensed associates of Step Earlier mentioned Management LLC. In the apps, the defendants made various bogus statements about owning compensated payroll taxes and acquiring workforce. In promissory notes, the defendants agreed to use the bank loan resources for payroll prices, expenditures similar to team health and fitness care added benefits and insurance policy rates, rent, utilities, fascination on payments on personal debt and refinancing a Smaller Small business Administration Financial Harm Disaster Bank loan. In its place, the defendants spent the resources on personal expenses for their personal advantage.  If convicted, the defendants experience the forfeiture of house associated to the crimes, which include home in East Helena, four vehicles and a journey trailer.

The PPP system, which is portion of the federal Coronavirus Help, Reduction and Economic Stability (CARES) Act, furnished emergency support to modest businesses for position retention and specified other expenditures.

An indictment is just an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until eventually established guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court docket of legislation.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Colin M. Rubich is prosecuting the scenario, which was investigated by the IRS-Legal Investigation and FBI, with help from the U.S. Treasury Inspector Common for Tax Administration and U.S. Key Company.

On May well 17, 2021, the Lawyer Standard set up the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Endeavor Force to marshal the assets of the Division of Justice in partnership with companies across authorities to enhance efforts to beat and protect against pandemic-relevant fraud. The Activity Drive bolsters efforts to examine and prosecute the most culpable domestic and global prison actors and assists agencies tasked with administering reduction programs to avoid fraud by, amid other procedures, augmenting and incorporating current coordination mechanisms, determining assets and procedures to uncover fraudulent actors and their strategies, and sharing and harnessing info and insights obtained from prior enforcement initiatives. For a lot more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Anyone with data about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Division of Justice’s National Middle for Catastrophe Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Internet Grievance Kind at:

PACER scenario reference. 21-07.