An Acton man has pleaded guilty for his role in a scheme to use stolen identities to obtain COVID-related U.S. Small Business Administration loans and then launder the money through fraudulent bank accounts.

Edwin Acevedo, 36, pleaded guilty yesterday in Boston federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Acevedo was arrested and charged in August 2021, along with co-conspirator Hector Garcia.

According to charging documents, Acevedo’s co-conspirators used the stolen identities of United States citizens to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Prosecutors allege that Garcia used a stolen identity to open a fraudulent bank account, which was then linked to other fraudulent bank accounts that had been set up to receive the SBA funds.

Acevedo arranged for co-conspirators to receive some of the debit cards associated with the fraudulent bank accounts where the SBA funds were deposited, according to the U.S. attorney’s statement. Acevedo and co-conspirators then laundered the SBA funds by using the debit cards to purchase iPhones, which Acevedo and others then re-sold for cash, the statement said.

Prosecutors also allege that Garcia and other co-conspirators wired a portion of the funds to co-conspirators in the Dominican Republic.

More than $452,000 in EIDL funds were fraudulently obtained in connection with the scheme, the statement said, with about $250,000 being used to purchase iPhones in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Acevedo’s sentencing has been scheduled for May 16.

Garcia was indicted in December by a federal grand jury in Boston on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.

Acton Man Pleads Guilty to SBA EIDL Fraud

by Banker & Tradesman time to read: 1 min