St. Louis man sentenced in coronavirus aid fraud scheme


ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis man with a long history of stealing and fraud convictions was sentenced Tuesday to federal prison for fraudulently receiving $2.7 million in federal coronavirus aid.

Robert Williams, 58, was sentenced to 10 years and five months in prison after he filed about 30 fraudulent applications for aid under the Paycheck Protection Program, which was designed to help small businesses affected by the pandemic.

He also was paid a fee for helping other people file 23 fraudulent loan applications for the aid money.

Williams received the loans despite having a history of crimes dating back to the 1990s including passing bad checks and identity theft, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

Williams pleaded guilty in December to seven counts of bank fraud.

Federal officials recovered about $466,000 and seized a Maserati Levante and a Jaguar F-Pace, which Williams bought with the fraudulent loans, prosecutors said.

He was ordered to pay $1.2 million in restitution.

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