Connect with us


7 from southeastern Massachusetts, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida arrested in $7.5 million multi-state fraud scheme



BOSTON – Seven individuals, including three from Massachusetts, have been arrested in connection with their alleged involvement in a multi-state scheme to obtain millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program funds for themselves and others through the submission of dozens of fraudulent applications to PPP lenders.

According to the Massachusetts Department of Justice, Wallace Ford, 38, of Buford, Ga.; Erin Brown, 40, of Buford, Ga.; Adiana Pierre, 39, of Lookout Mountain, Tenn.; Gardy Alexandre, 51, of West Palm Beach, Fla.; Bill Dessaps, 46, of South Easton, Mass; Wens Herby Mathurin, 26, of Brockton, Mass.; and Richardson Rhau, 49, of Brockton, Mass are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit unlawful monetary transactions.

The defendants were released on conditions following initial appearances in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia, the Eastern District of Tennessee, the Southern District of Florida and the District of Massachusetts, respectively.

According to the charging documents, Ford, Brown, Pierre and Alexandre conspired to submit fraudulent PPP applications on behalf of numerous actual or purported businesses and non-profit organizations – including businesses operated by Dessaps and Mathurin – and to collect kickback payments from the borrowers for securing loan amounts.

It is alleged that Ford, who at the time operated three purported businesses or non-profits in Florida, submitted applications for PPP loans for those entities to several lenders in April and May 2020, shortly after PPP funds first became available in April 2020. Ford allegedly inflated the employee and payroll information about these entities on the applications. As a result, Ford obtained $168,121 in PPP funds for these entities.

Beginning in June 2020, Ford allegedly began submitting PPP applications on behalf of others, including Pierre and Alexandre. It is alleged that these applications misrepresented the number of employees and monthly payroll expenses of the applicants, and that Ford submitted these applications with falsified supporting documents. Alexandre and Pierre allegedly received PPP loans of $300,000 and $20,833, respectively, from these applications.

According to the charging documents, between June and August 2020, Ford fraudulently secured PPP funds for at least 27 borrowers. Pierre, Alexandre and others allegedly identified potential applicants and provided those applicants’ information to Ford and Ford’s spouse, Brown. Ford then submitted applications for those borrowers online, fabricating employee numbers and monthly payroll expenses. Ford also allegedly submitted false wage and tax forms in support of the misrepresentations on the applications and as a result, obtained approximately $7 million in PPP funds. It is further alleged that the borrowers who received PPP funds based on these fraudulent applications paid kickbacks to Ford and Brown, Pierre, Alexandre and others, commonly in amounts equal to 10 or 20 percent of the loan amount they received. Collectively, Ford, Brown, Pierre and Alexandre allegedly received over $1 million in kickback payments from borrowers – over $500,000 of which went to Ford and Brown.

The charging documents also allege that, in June 2020, Rhau connected Alexandre with both Dessaps, who operated a used car dealership in Abington, Mass., and Mathurin, who purportedly operated a warehouse and cargo delivery business. It is alleged that Alexandre and Pierre then forwarded information about Dessaps’ and Mathurin’s businesses to Brown and Ford, who submitted PPP applications to Kabbage. The application for Dessaps’ dealership falsely stated that the dealership had 40 employees and average monthly payroll expenses of $334,720. The application for Mathurin’s business falsely stated that the business had 25 employees and average monthly payroll expenses of $125,541. Ford also allegedly submitted falsified wage and tax forms with this application. As a result of the applications, Kabbage disbursed a PPP loan of $836,800 to Dessaps and a PPP loan of $313,852 to Mathurin.

After receiving these funds, both Dessaps and Mathurin allegedly made kickback payments to Alexandre, and Mathurin sent additional payments totaling $45,000 to Rhau. With the PPP funds he received, Dessaps allegedly issued sham payroll checks to himself and his relatives, purchased a new residence for himself in South Easton in his sister’s name, paid $32,000 to French Bulldog breeders and purchased a Rolls Royce. Mathurin allegedly made large payments to himself and two purported co-owners of his business.

The charging documents also allege that Rhau fraudulently obtained $104,166 in PPP funds and $94,800 in other pandemic relief funds as a result of applications containing misrepresentations that he submitted to lenders between April 2020 and April 2021.

The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss from the scheme, whichever is greater. The charge of conspiracy to commit unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000, or twice the value of the criminally derived property. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Holcomb of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Alexandra W. Amrhein of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit are prosecuting the case.

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

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:

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. David

    January 29, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    Great. But this is small potatoes compared to the billionaires who don’t pay tax or lie about their finances. Why, for instance, isn’t Trump in handcuffs? There is no justice when prosecutions are so selective,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Copyright © 2017 Fall River Reporter

Translate »