CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Sean Patrick Boyd Jr., 26, of Dunbar, pleaded guilty on November 21st to receipt of stolen money. Boyd admitted to a scheme to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of $20,832 in COVID-19 relief loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

The West Virginia State Auditor’s Public Integrity and Fraud Unit, formed by Auditor JB McCuskey, continues to assist the US Attorney for the Southern District of West Virginia, along with the United States Secret Service, and the West Virginia State Police – Bureau of Criminal Investigation in investigating COVID-19 fraud.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, our office has been at the forefront providing resources to local governments, ensuring a transparent accounting of the spending for lawmakers and the public to review, and stood ready to help investigate and prosecute any wrongdoing,” Auditor McCuskey said. “And now, with United States Attorney Will Thompson committing the power of his office to prosecuting fraud, we are proud to assist in ensuring every person who stole from the people of this country is prosecuted to the fullest. I am incredibly proud that our team has the talent and reputation to be asked to assist with this important work.”

According to court documents and statements made in court, on April 18, 2021, Boyd applied for a PPP loan on behalf of his purported business, “Sean Boyd.” Boyd falsely stated in his application that “Sean Boyd” was in operation on February 15, 2020, which was a requirement to qualify for a PPP loan. Boyd admitted that “Sean Boyd” was fictitious and was not a registered business entity in West Virginia at the time he applied for the loan and admitted to submitting a false IRS Form 1040.

Boyd submitted the loan application electronically from West Virginia and it was uploaded to servers in Nebraska for processing. Boyd’s loan application was approved and $20,832 was electronically transferred to his personal bank account in West Virginia. Boyd admitted that before he received the fraudulent loan, his bank account balance was $12.47. On May 24, 2021, Boyd withdrew $10,000 of the fraudulent loan proceeds from his bank’s branch in Nitro.

The CARES Act, enacted in March 2020, offered emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This assistance included forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP.

Boyd is scheduled to be sentenced on February 7, 2024 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. Boyd also owes $23,817.79 in restitution.