Defendant used stolen identity to apply for apartment and pandemic relief loan
On January 26, 2023, a former Everett man was sentenced in connection with multiple schemes to fraudulently obtain an apartment as well as pandemic-related relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act. Tedje Menard, 28, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs to 28 months in prison and three years of supervised release. In September 2022, Menard pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, one count of false representation of a Social Security number and one count of aggravated identity theft.
In or around November 2020, Menard applied to rent an apartment in East Boston using the name and identity of another person. As part of the application and screening process, Menard falsely claimed to be the other person by providing the company overseeing the property with, among other things, the victim’s name, Social Security number and date of birth and a copy of a purported North Carolina driver’s license containing the victim’s information but depicting a photograph of Menard. In June 2021, Menard submitted an EIDL application in the amount of $40,000 using the victim’s name and personal identifiable information.
Additionally, in April 2021, Menard used his own name to apply for a PPP loan in the amount of approximately $20,833. In the loan application, Menard falsely represented his business’ total gross income in 2019 and his criminal history.
On January 27, U.S. Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and the Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Division, Joseph R. Bonavolonta, made the sentencing announcement. Valuable assistance in the investigation was provided by the Department of Labor and the U.S. Secret Service’s Boston Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys J. Mackenzie Duane and Meghan C. Cleary of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit prosecuted 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 https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.