- A Massachusetts man tried to scam the government out of nearly $544,000 in PPP funds.
- Prosecutors say the man then tried to fake his own death to evade arrest.
- He was sentenced to 56 months in prison in the scheme on Thursday.
A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to 56 months in prison in a scheme that involved faking his own death to evade capture after trying to defraud the government out of nearly $544,000 in forgivable coronavirus relief funds.
US Marshals initially arrested David Adler Staveley, of Andover, Massachusetts, in May 2020 after prosecutors accused him of filing four fraudulent CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loan applications with an associate named David Butziger, the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Rhode Island said in a press release.
Three weeks after his arrest, however, Staveley removed a home monitoring device and fled, federal officials said.
He then staged his own suicide, left notes for his associates and his 80-year-old mother, and abandoned his car in a parking lot near the Atlantic Ocean in Massachusetts, his family told WJAR.
“Many of his family members and associates were left with the belief that Staveley had indeed killed himself, though the ones who knew him best informed law enforcement that they suspected this to be yet another scheme orchestrated by the defendant,” prosecutors said in the press release.
Federal officials launched an investigation into Staveley’s disappearance, and found he had traveled to various states using fake identities and stolen license plates.
US Marshals eventually apprehended him in Alpharetta, Georgia, on July 23, 2020.
After serving 56 months in prison, Staveley will spend three years on federal supervised release, prosecutors said.
Butziger is scheduled to be sentenced in the case on November 1, 2021.