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Case Number: 3:21-cr-00109-RLJ-DCP
Judge: R. Leon Jordan
Court: United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee (Knox County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Knoxville, TN: Criminal defense lawyer represented Defendant charged with wire fraud and money laundering.
James Waylon Howell, 39, currently of Knoxville, Tennessee, was charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
As part of the written plea agreement, Howell waived an indictment by a Federal Grand Jury and agreed to plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343, and one count of money laundering, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1957.
According to the plea agreement, beginning on or about April 1, 2020, and continuing through the end of June 2020, Howell applied for four loans totaling $154,700 through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Howell submitted false and fraudulent applications under the names of two companies that did not qualify for the Covid-19 relief funds that Howell sought. Howell submitted two fraudulent applications to financial institutions seeking PPP funds and two fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration seeking EIDL funds. As part of his fraud scheme, Howell submitted false supporting records and made false statements about the number of individuals the companies employed, the revenue generated, and the wages paid. Howell also made false statements about the corporate entities and the intended use of the loan proceeds.
The plea agreement reflects that Howell submitted an online application to the Small Business Administration in the name of Advanced Strategy Holdings, LLC, seeking $83,800 in EIDL funds. On the application and in the supporting documents, Howell falsely claimed that Advanced Strategy Holdings employed four individuals, generated $700,000 in gross revenue, incurred $0 in cost of goods sold, and paid wages of $440,000 in the 12 months preceding the Covid-19 pandemic. These claims were all false. In further support of the application, Howell
submitted fabricated Internal Revenue Service documents. After receiving the loan proceeds from the Small Business Administration, Howell transferred the proceeds to his personal bank account, knowing that the loan proceeds were obtained fraudulently.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation division.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney William A. Roach, Jr.
Outcome: Defendant pleaded guilty.