Former Georgia police officer Andre Jackson has been sentenced to 59 months in prison for money laundering in connection with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The CARES Act was a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans struggling with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and one component of the act was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Jackson and his co-conspirators attempted to fraudulently obtain more than $1 million in PPP funds.
When Jackson introduced fellow Georgia resident James Williams to Jemar Mason and David Kurbanov, both residents of the Western District of Michigan, they began their fraudulent process of obtaining PPP loans. Jackson then directed two of his accomplices to wire $500,000 to an overseas bank account.
Fortunately, investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration detected the plot and the Internal Revenue Service took steps to freeze the bank accounts of the conspirators, ultimately recovering approximately $1.123 million of the fraud proceeds. Federal prosecutors brought charges against five defendants, including Jackson, all of whom have now been convicted.
U.S. Attorney Mark Totten commented on the case, saying, “Andre Jackson was a con artist who tried to exploit the COVID-19 pandemic for his own personal gain. Anyone who tries to get rich quick by stealing money intended to help those in need should expect to be held fully accountable.” Charles Miller, Acting Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation, added, “Pandemic relief funds in the form of PPP loans were established to help legitimate businesses weather the economic crisis created by COVID-19. In concert with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our federal law enforcement partners, IRS-CI will continue to track down individuals who attempt to exploit this federal relief program for their own personal greed and hold them accountable for their crimes.”