Fort Myers contractor charged with COVID-19 relief fraud and mortgage fraud; pleads not guilty

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casey Crowther
Casey Crowther

A federal grand jury has returned a superseding indictment charging Casey David Crowther, 35, president of Target Roofing and Sheet Metal in Fort Myers, with COVID-19 relief fraud and mortgage fraud.

Crowther has pled not guilty to the charges, and his lawyer says that Target Roofing used the PPP money as intended to support and pay its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a statement, United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said Crowther has been charged with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making a false statement to a lending institution, and three counts of illegal monetary transactions.

If convicted, Crowther faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison on each bank fraud and false statement count, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for each illegal monetary transaction count.

The indictment also notifies Crowther that the United States intends to forfeit a 2020 40-foot catamaran, real property in St. James City, Florida, and $2,098,700, which are alleged to be proceeds of the offenses; the real property is also subject to forfeiture because it was involved in the illegal monetary transaction.

A federal grand jury had previously indicted Crowther for COVID relief fraud on September 23, 2020. The superseding indictment contains additional counts charging Crowther with mortgage fraud.

According to the superseding indictment, as part of his scheme, beginning in June of 2020, Crowther submitted false and fraudulent Uniform Residential Loan Applications (URLA) to a mortgage broker and mortgage lender, causing the lender to disburse approximately $640,381 in loan funds. Specifically, Crowther intentionally misrepresented his liquid assets in the URLAs and created false and fraudulent bank statements which purported to show he had more assets than he actually had.

A superseding indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

This case was investigated by the United States Secret Service, the Oct. 29 statement said.

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