BOSTON – The former Boston Grand Prix CFO pleaded guilty today in Boston federal court to several schemes to defraud small business equipment and finance companies as well as the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Internal Revenue Service.
John F. Casey, 57, formerly of Ipswich, pleaded guilty to 23 counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, four counts of money laundering and three counts of producing false tax returns. United States District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs sentenced February 15, 2022. Casey was charged in September 2020.
Casey became the Chief Financial Officer of the Boston Grand Prix in January 2015. The Boston Grand Prix organization made payments to or on behalf of Casey totaling approximately $ 308,292 in 2015 and $ 601,073 in 2016 , which Casey did not include in the gross income he reported on his personal tax. comes back for those years.
Casey owned an ice rink in Peabody from October 2013 until he sold it in June 2016. Between October 2014 and October 2016, Casey raised over $ 743,000 in funds from equipment finance companies. , allegedly for the purchase of equipment for the rink, when in fact he no longer owns the rink for four months during that period. Additionally, in August 2016, more than two months after selling the Peabody Rink, Casey secured over $ 145,000 in small business loans for the rink activity. In order to secure funding, Casey submitted false documents and information, including false invoices for the equipment, bank statements purporting to show deposits to Casey’s accounts related to the Peabody Rink, personal tax returns and d swollen business and personal financial statements falsely claiming ownership and value. of various assets. Casey also submitted a fake bill of sale containing a forged signature in support of one of his loan applications. Based on Casey’s misrepresentation, the finance companies provided funds to Casey on amounts and on terms they would not otherwise have provided. Most of the funds provided by the victim companies were never reimbursed.
Additionally, between March 2020 and at least May 2021, Casey orchestrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain economic disaster loans and loans from the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program and a sector-specific relief grant. Massachusetts – available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Safety Act (CARES) – by submitting bogus claims for businesses it created and controlled and by misusing loan and grant funds fraudulently obtained for personal expenses. Specifically, Casey submitted at least 14 loan applications to the SBA and intermediary lenders that contained false information regarding, among other things, the gross revenues of businesses in the year leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, the average monthly payroll of companies and the existence of some companies.
In January 2021, while awaiting trial for the financial fraud scheme, Casey submitted a $ 70,000 pandemic grant application to the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation containing false information about a company’s operating expenses. that was not in business in 2019 or 2020 Between April 2020 and April 2021, approximately $ 676,552 in COVID-19 relief funds was deposited into bank accounts controlled by Casey, and he used the vast majority of the funds to personal expenses, including a three-karat diamond ring, lasting six months. Match.com membership, private school tuition, residential rent payments, living expenses, payments to personal credit card accounts, restaurant meals, car payments, and stays in luxury hotels.
Casey also pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of his fraud schemes and failing to include the proceeds from the Peabody Rink fraud scheme in his personal federal tax returns for 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The wire fraud charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 250,000 or double the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. both. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a consecutive sentence of two years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 250,000 or double the gross gain or loss, depending on the amount. higher. The charge of illegal money transactions carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 250,000 or double the value of the criminal property, according to the higher of the two. The false tax filing charge carries a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $ 250,000 or double the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a judge in a federal district court based on US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Acting US Attorney Nathaniel R. Mendell; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston division; and Joleen D. Simpson, Internal Revenue Service special agent in charge of criminal investigations, made the announcement today. Deputy U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Mendell’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit is pursuing the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General created the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Working Group to mobilize the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with government agencies to strengthen efforts to combat and prevent the pandemic fraud. The Working Group strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable national and international criminal actors and assists agencies responsible for administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by scaling up and integrating mechanisms coordination, identifying resources and techniques for uncovering fraudulent actors and their programs, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720 -5721 or via the NCDF web complaint form at: https: // www. .justice.gov / disaster-fraud / ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.