A trio of Chicago-area residents allegedly falsified documents and lied about the number of employees at multiple companies in order to defraud the government out of millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief aid they instead used to cover personal expenses and purchase luxury vehicles.
Samuel W. Jackson and Elizabeth Chervinko, each of Chicago, along with David L. Sullivan II of Naperville, were charged in federal court after they allegedly fraudulently obtained more than $2.75 million in small business loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act.
According to a federal indictment unsealed Tuesday, throughout the spring and summer of 2020, the defendants submitted fraudulent applications and supporting documents to lenders, loan service providers and the Small Business Administration.
They did so both in their own names and under the names of three Montana-based companies — Dream Builder LLC, Ordained Destination LLC, and Ordained Real Estate LLC — and the Illinois-based companies Top Flight Real Estate LLC and Tips @ 170 Inc., according to the indictment.
In various loan applications, the trio misrepresented the number of employees at those businesses, as well as their gross revenues, payroll and the cost of the goods they sold, according to the indictment.
They allegedly used the loan money to purchase “real estate, personal expenses, and … luxury and other automobiles.”
Jackson, 42, was charged with five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. He appeared in court Tuesday where he pleaded not guilty during his arraignment.
Sullivan, 49, and Chervinko, 41, were each charged with one count of wire fraud. They are scheduled to be arraigned in court next week.
Each wire fraud charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, while the money laundering charges could result in a maximum 10-year sentence.