Springfield, Illinois, man sentenced to six months’ home confinement, fined for COVID-19 related fraud


Date: July 13, 2022

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Springfield, IL — A Springfield, Illinois man, Thalamus Alexander, Jr., was sentenced on July 12, 2022, to six months' home confinement, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $50,000 for wire fraud and theft of government property.

At the sentencing hearing in front of U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough, the government presented evidence that Alexander fraudulently obtained an Economic Injury Disaster Loan ("EIDL") from the U.S. Small Business Administration ("SBA"). The loans were funded through the CARES Act in response to the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. The EIDL funds were intended to provide low-interest loans to businesses that were unable to cover their fixed costs due to the pandemic. Alexander submitted six applications containing various falsehoods in an effort to obtain EIDL funding. On the application that was accepted and funded, Alexander falsely represented that he owned and operated a clothing and apparel business, Paper Junkie Desiner, that had generated $100,000 in revenue in the 12 months prior to January 31, 2020. Due to the misrepresentations, Alexander was granted a $49,000 loan and a $1,000 advance. Alexander did not have a registered business in the state of Illinois.

Also at the hearing, Judge Myerscough found that Alexander deprived other legitimate businesses of the funds that had been set aside to assist those who had been hit hard by the pandemic. By committing this fraud, Alexander was essentially stealing from small businesses in need.

Alexander was indicted in October 2021 and plead guilty in February 2022.

The statutory penalties for wire fraud are up to 20 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release. The statutory penalties for theft of government property are up to 10 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, and up to three years of supervised release.

"Individuals who fraudulently obtained funds through pandemic-related programs took necessary resources from other citizens in need," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore. "The EIDL and PPP loans were funded using tax payor money. We all suffer when government programs are defrauded and those who criminally misused funds intended for COVID relief will be prosecuted."

If members of the public are aware of COVID-19 related loans that they suspect were fraudulently obtained or forgiven, they should report it to the Office of Inspector General for the Small Business

The Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Senor-Moore represented the government in the prosecution.