Arroyo Grande man faces federal charges for using stolen identities to obtain more than $1.5 million in COVID-19 relief loans

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PORTLAND, Ore. — An Arroyo Grande real estate developer has been indicted in federal court for using stolen identities to secure more than $1.5 million in small business COVID-19 pandemic relief loans, a the Oregon District Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Alfred Nevis, 52, has been charged with wire fraud, aggravated impersonation and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Nevis allegedly used the identities of several people he knew — including current and former employees, business associates and their spouses — to illegally obtain economic disaster loans (EIDLs) administered by the Small Business Association, according to court documents from April 1, 2020 until at least August 6, 2020.

The EIDL program allowed the Small Business Association to issue low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the pandemic, the U.S. attorney’s office said.

Nevis used the stolen identities to register straw companies, obtain employer identification numbers from the IRS and submit loan applications to the Small Business Association on behalf of newly registered companies, the office said. US attorney.

“In one instance, Nevis claimed that a straw company called Isley Farms, registered in Oregon, had 12 employees and generated more than $725,000 in revenue over a 12-month period ending January 2020,” added the office.

Nevis submitted at least 12 EIDL requests using the identities of at least eight people without their knowledge or permission between April 1, 2020 and July 23, 2020 – totaling nearly $1.4 million in loan disbursements fraudulent.

Then the Small Business Association approved a final EIDL for $150,000 in August 2020, bringing the total fraudulent loans to $1.5 million.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office claimed that Nevis further laundered at least $160,000 of his fraudulent obtaining.

Nevis appeared in federal court on Thursday and pleaded not guilty before U.S. Judge Jolie A. Russo. He was released pending a three-day jury trial scheduled to begin on August 2.

He faces a maximum sentence of 32 years in prison, up to $500,000 in fines and three years of probation.