Former MTA Special Inspector Convicted of COVID-19 Emergency Fraud | USAO-NDNY
Former MTA Special Inspector Convicted of COVID-19 Emergency Fraud |  USAO-NDNY

Former MTA Special Inspector Convicted of COVID-19 Emergency Fraud | USAO-NDNY

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Sean M. Andre, 32, of Brooklyn, New York, was today sentenced to 30 months in prison for conspiring with a man in Ulster County to fraudulently obtain more than $ 5.6 million in state-subsidized loans intended for companies struggling. with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

The notice was given by U.S. Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Janeen DiGuiseppi, a specialist agent in charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Glenn T. Suddaby also imposed a two-year suspended release period, ordering Andre to pay $ 1,309,754 in compensation to his victims and ordering Andre to forfeit $ 32,900 in U.S. currency, the balance of six bank accounts at a total of $ 365,613.09 and a 2019 Mercedes Benz GLS, all previously seized by the FBI.

Others pleaded guilty in May last year to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud. He admitted to helping Jean R. Lavanture obtain $ 4,309,581 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans between June and August 2020 by filing fraudulent loan applications in the names of four companies controlled by Lavanture. Each loan application misrepresented the number of employees and the total payroll that each company had, and included false tax documents that Andre created as part of the scheme. Others were paid $ 157,578 for their role in the scheme.

Others also admitted that he fraudulently obtained an additional $ 1,309,754 in mortgage loans by submitting loan applications in the names of companies he controlled. In these loan applications, Andre lied about the number of employees and the total payroll that his companies had.

Andre was a special inspector for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York City at the time of his crimes.

Lavanture, 49, from Saugerties, New York, was last month sentenced to 60 months in prison.

This case was investigated by the FBI, as well as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) -Criminal Investigation and Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael Barnett and Joshua R. Rosenthal.

On May 17, 2021, Attorney General COVID-19 created the Fraud Enforcement Task Force to pool the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to increase efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most guilty domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering emergency programs to prevent fraud, by, among other things, expanding and integrating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques for detecting fraudulent actors and their schemes and the sharing and exploitation of information and insights 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 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.

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