In connection with COVID-19 relief fraud, a Chesterland man was sentenced to prison and forced to make restitution.
According to a press release from the Ohio Department of Justice, Robert Bearden, 49, entered a guilty plea to charges that he had fraudulently got approximately $60,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the United States Small Business Administration under the CARES Act by submitting false claims.
According to court filings, Bearden provided fraudulent information regarding both existing and non-existing businesses, as well as the names of third parties, in exchange for a kickback of a fraction of the monies received in exchange for the information.
According to the press release, Bearden also utilized the personal identification information of persons who were interested in government pandemic aid to file loan applications on their behalf but deposited the monies into his own account.
The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations looked into this matter.