US citizen charged of fraudulently taking $414,000 in COVID-19 relief funds

On August 25, a North Carolina local in the United States was charged with fraud to receive over $ 414,000 in COVID-19 relief from the Small Business Administration through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

David Christopher Redfern of Trinity, North Carolina, has been charged by criminal complaint with one count of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to charges, Redfern formed the company Wilder Effects LLC in January 2020. Under that company, he fraudulently applied for two EIDLs and a PPP loan between April and June of this year.

Redfern falsified documents for his loan application under the PPP. The false documentation included a fake IRS filing that purported to be Wilder Effects’ Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return for the first quarter of 2020. The document said that Wilder Effects paid wages to 20 employees, but the IRS does not have any such filing.

EIDL and PPP loan proceeds were withdrawn in cash or transferred to Redfern’s personal bank account. Investigators were able to freeze the Wilder Effects bank account and approximately $402,000 in EIDL and PPP loan proceeds were recovered.