August 26, 2023 - WASHINGTON – Yesterday, a federal jury found Roberto Adams, 36, of Hyattsville, Maryland, guilty of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to obtain Paycheck Protection Program loans. U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta scheduled a sentencing hearing for December 8, 2023.
According to the evidence at trial, Adams, a Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officer defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of at least $18,350. Adams applied for and obtained PPP loans on behalf of his business SuperKlean LLC, a Maryland Corporation. At the time of the loans, SuperKlean LLC had no employees, no clients, and no income. Adams spent the funds at casinos in Maryland and at hotels and casinos in Las Vegas, on airfare, hotels, high-end sneakers, and personal debt. In addition, he spent $12,110 of the stolen disaster relief funds to pay several months of back rent on his personal residence.
The verdicts were announced by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist, with the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
Adams faces a statutory maximum sentence for wire fraud of 30 years in prison and for expenditure money laundering of 10 years in prison. A federal court judge will determine the appropriate sentence based on the guideline range and other factors.
In announcing the verdict, U.S. Attorney Graves commended the work of the agencies who investigated the case, including the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with substantial assistance by the Internal Affairs Division of the Metropolitan Police Department. He also expressed appreciation for the efforts of those who handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialists Lisa Abbe and Sonalika Chaturvedi, and financial analyst Bryan Snitselaar.
Finally, he acknowledged the work of Assistant United States Attorneys Joshua Rothstein and Madhu Chugh, who prosecuted the case at trial.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.
For more information on the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
Source: DOJ Release