Fort Myers Roofing Company Owner Arrested Charged With COVID Rescue Fraud
The owner of a roofing company in Fort Myers has been arrested after claiming to defraud the government on $ 2 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
Casey David Crowther, 35, is accused of making a false statement to a credit institution.
Crowther was released from the Charlotte County Jail Wednesday evening.
According to the complaint by US lawyer Maria Chapa Lopez, Crowther requested and received over $ 2 million in payroll protection program loan through an application on behalf of his Fort Myers company, Target Roofing. & Sheet Metal, Inc. His loan application contained false and misleading statements regarding the use of PPP funds, specifically that PPP funds would only be used for business purposes, to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage payments, lease payments and utility payments.
Crowther used part of the funds to purchase a 2020 40-foot catamaran for around $ 689,417, which he registered in his name, according to the complaint.
Laurie Thomas, owner of The Clam Bake, can’t believe anyone is blatantly abusing taxpayer dollars.
“It’s just crazy! There are so many companies that couldn’t get it and here is someone abusing the money. It’s just… I can’t believe what some people do, ”Thomas said.
Martin Drexler is the owner of Wise Guys Deli in downtown Fort Myers. “I’m a little guy and if I see someone taking advantage of it that way, it hurts. That kind of pain, ”he said.
Drexler struggled to keep his restaurant open when the pandemic started and says his P3 loan has helped a lot. So, for him to find out that another business owner abused him, he was shocked. “It’s horrible. It’s terrible. It’s horrible. It was used by companies to help people hire people.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act is a federal law enacted in March to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans who are economically suffering from the pandemic. The PPP allows small businesses and other eligible organizations to receive loans with a two-year term and an interest rate of one percent. Businesses must use the proceeds of the PPP loan for salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.
Thomas just can’t figure out why someone would be so dishonest. “They could have kept the people employed to buy food, pay their bills, pay their rent. It’s just… I can’t understand this dishonesty, ”she said.
Casey Crowther was a member of the Board of Directors of Builder’s Care and has since resigned from his position.
Builder’s Care Statement:
“Builders Care and its board of directors have just learned of the existence of an investigation involving one of our board members, Casey Crowther.
“It is important to note that the charges were not related to Builders Care. While he was an active and valued member of the board, Crowther did not have access to, and was not responsible for, the organization’s finances.
“Crowther has resigned his position on the Board of Directors out of respect for Builders Care and its goal of providing emergency construction services at no cost to deserving elderly and / or disabled homeowners and their families, who cannot obtain repairs through traditional services. means. We will certainly continue to do what it takes for Builders Care and the good deserving people we serve.
This case is currently under investigation by the Secret Service and is being pursued by Deputy United States Attorney Trent Reichling.
If convicted, Crowther faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison. He was released on $ 100,000 bail Wednesday.
Crowther Roofing & Sheet Metal in Fort Myers claims to have no business affiliation with Casey Crowther or Target Roofing & Sheet Metal.