Skip to main content
Image: [image credit]
Photo 177766872 © Mykhailo Polenok | Dreamstime.com

Fredericksburg, VA Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding COVID-19 Relief Program

A Fredericksburg man pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in defrauding a federal COVID-19 relief program.

According to court documents, in September 2017, Sherman Green Jr., 34, incorporated the business entity Green Information Solutions LLC (“GIS”) and later opened business banking accounts for GIS at Navy Federal Credit Union (NFCU). In May 2020, a co-conspirator told Green about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a COVID-19 relief program intended to provide loans backed by the Small Business Administration to certain businesses, nonprofit organizations, and other entities to help them retain their employees or stay afloat during the pandemic. Green and his co-conspirator prepared and submitted a PPP loan application to Atlantic Union Bank on behalf of GIS with the assistance of a senior bank officer at Atlantic Union Bank.

In the loan application, Green represented that he was the President/CEO of the company, and falsely claimed that GIS employed seven employees with an average monthly payroll of $78,215.41. Based on these false representations, Atlantic Union Bank awarded GIS a first-draw PPP loan in the amount of $195,500, which was deposited into an Atlantic Union Bank account in the name of GIS on May 11, 2020. Green then purchased a series of cashier’s checks drawn on the money from the fraudulently obtained PPP loan and deposited them into GIS’s NFCU business checking account. Although the memo lines on two of the cashier’s checks referred to “payroll” or other business expenses, GIS did not have any employees or any legitimate business expenses. Between May 2020 and March 2021, Green transferred $81,131.60 from GIS’s NFCU business checking account to his personal bank accounts.

In March 2021, Green and his co-conspirator collaborated again to electronically submit a second-draw PPP loan application to Atlantic Union Bank on behalf of GIS. In this application, Green fraudulently claimed that GIS had five employees with an average monthly payroll of approximately $57,486, and had gross receipts of approximately $1,000,500 in 2019 and $700,000 in 2020. Based on these misrepresentations, Atlantic Union Bank awarded GIS a second-draw PPP loan in the amount of $143,715. Green set up payroll and expense accounts for GIS at Atlantic Union Bank and transferred the second-draw funds into them. Green then used those funds for other purposes, such as payment to Ford Motor Credit, and transferred funds into his personal accounts.

To conceal his misuse of the PPP loans, Green set up a Quickbooks account in which transfers falsely appeared as “payroll” in bank statements. From June 15 to July 15 in 2021, Green made seven such transactions knowing they involved criminally derived property and were not being used for payroll.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 3 and faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Stephen Ravas, Acting Inspector General for AmeriCorp; David J. Scott, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division; John Perez, Special Agent in Charge, Headquarters Operations, Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; Michael J. Missal, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; and Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Eastern Region Special Agent in Charge for the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), made the announcement after U.S. District Judge Leonie M. Brinkema accepted the plea.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine E. Rumbaugh and Heidi B. Gesch are prosecuting the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:24-cr-122.