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Case Number: 3:21-cr-00043-SDD-EWD
Judge: Shelly D. Dick
Court: United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana (East Baton Rouge Parish)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Baton Rouge, Louisiana criminal defense attorney represented defendant charged with with wire fraud.
April R. Falgoust, age 46, of Prairieville, Louisiana, was charged for committing wire fraud.
Falgoust admitted in connection with her guilty plea, she devised a scheme to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration by filing numerous false and fraudulent applications for EIDL funds. Specifically, between March 31, 2020 and May 8, 2020, Falgoust filed five fraudulent applications, in the names of the following companies: “LA Fitness & Tan, LLC,” “FalgouStrong Fitness, LLC,” “Boss Lady Suits,” “Forever the Baddest Makeup,” and “Hemphire Seed & Nutrients.” In the applications, she misrepresented the companies’ gross revenues, their costs, their number of employees, and the extent to which the companies had been affected by the pandemic, among other misrepresentations. Based on the defendant’s fraudulent representations, the SBA disbursed approximately $143,800 to the defendant, and the intended loss, including potential loss from fraudulent applications that the defendant submitted but that the SBA did not fund, was approximately $473,000.
U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Gathe, Jr., who is also the National Center for Disaster Fraud’s Executive Director, stated, “Preventing and prosecuting fraud is a priority of the Department of Justice, and this sentence should serve as a warning to those who would commit such crimes that we will bring offenders to justice and punish those who break the law. I applaud the efforts of our prosecutors and law enforcement partners the in the prosecution and conviction of this defendant.”
“Today’s sentencing should serve as a reminder to those who deceive and steal from hardworking Americans that they will be held to account for their actions. The FBI and its partners will continue to hold accountable those like Ms. April Falgoust who perpetrate fraud schemes at the expense of the American people,” said FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Douglas A. Williams, Jr. “We thank our partners at United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, Internal Revenue Service and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General for their strong partnership and unrelenting pursuit of justice.”
“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) will aggressively pursue those who use Internal Revenue Service (IRS) systems to facilitate their schemes to defraud pandemic relief programs,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “Fraudulent schemes such as this undermine the integrity of IRS programs and operations. We would like to thank the FBI, the SBA Office of the Inspector General and the US Attorney’s Office for their continued partnership in combating pandemic fraud.”
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), and the United States Small Business Administration—Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), and prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alan Stevens, who serves as Senior Litigation Counsel for the United States Attorney’s Office.
FRAUD BY WIRE, RADIO, OR TELEVISION
Outcome: Imprisonment for a total term of 18 months. Supervised Release for a term of 3 years. Assessment of $100.00. Restitution in the amount of $147,925.69. Fine is waived