Spring Valley man sentenced to more than a year for $1.6 million pandemic fraud scheme
A Spring Valley man will spend a year and a day in prison for defrauding the Small Business Administration for more than $1.6 million in COVID relief funds.
The defendant, 34-year-old Elizier Scher, hatched a scheme to steal small businesses pandemic relief, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The money was taken from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provided funds for businesses to offset working capital and other normal operating expenses.
Scher pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in February 2023.
Scher submitted 12 applications in the span of four hours in July 2020 for loans on behalf of a dozen corporations that he owned and controlled, investigators said.
All but one application received a net total of $1,648,900 in loan proceeds, according to court records.
Scher then used the proceeds to buy real estate and to pay off credit card expenses, instead of using it for working capital for the borrowers per the loan agreement, according to officials.
"Exploiting a crisis for personal gain will face the full force of the law,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams.
He will also serve two years of supervised release and he is ordered to pay over $1 million in forfeiture.