Date: October 28, 2022 Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Grand Rapids, MI — U.S. Attorney Mark Totten today announced that former Clayton County, Georgia police officer Andre Jackson has been convicted of attempting to launder $500,000 in fraudulently obtained COVID-19 relief funds. Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison. "Andre Jackson and his co-conspirators chose to exploit COVID-19 relief funds as an opportunity to get rich quick by stealing funds intended to keep workers from losing their jobs," said U.S. Attorney Totten. "That is unacceptable, and my office remains committed to holding fraudsters fully accountable for their misdeeds." In 2020, Jackson introduced fellow Georgia resident James Williams to Jemar Mason and David Kurbanov, both residents of the Western District of Michigan. Williams helped Mason and Kurbanov prepare fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security ("CARES") Act. Jackson and his co-conspirators exploited the program to obtain approximately $1.495 million in fraud proceeds. Afterwards, Jackson attempted to launder some of the proceeds by directing two of his confederates to wire $500,000 to an overseas bank account that Jackson selected. Investigators from the Internal Revenue Service detected the plot and took steps to freeze the bank accounts of the conspirators, ultimately recovering approximately $1.123 million of the fraud proceeds. "Today, Andre Jackson has been held accountable for his actions in conspiring to steal over one million dollars designed to provide relief to small businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic," said Acting Special Agent in Charge Charles Miller, IRS Criminal Investigation, Detroit Field Office. "IRS-CI is dedicated to working with our law enforcement partners to combat and prevent fraud related to the CARES Act." Federal prosecutors in the Western District of Michigan brought charges against five co-defendants, including Jackson, all of whom have now been convicted in connection with the scheme. Jackson faces up to 10 years in prison and is scheduled for sentencing on February 23, 2023. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jonathan Roth, Kristin Pinkston, and Austin Hakes. It is proceeding before U.S. District Judge Jane M. Beckering. The charges in this case were part of an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, dubbed Operation Cashout, by law enforcement officers in the Western District of Michigan and the Northern District of Georgia, including the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, Drug Enforcement Administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspection Service, United States Secret Service, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Michigan State Police, Kent Area Narcotics Enforcement Team (KANET), and the Grand Rapids Police Department. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level drug traffickers, money launderers, gangs, and transnational criminal organizations that threaten the United States by using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach that leverages the strengths of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies against criminal networks. The CARES Act is a federal law designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of forgivable loans to small businesses through the PPP program, which was designed to provide small businesses with loans to keep employees on payroll.