WHITE PLAINS – A 33-year-old Spring Valley man faces a federal charge of wire fraud that could land him 20 years in prison for a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration out of $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds.
Elizier Scher allegedly made false statements in at least a dozen applications for money intended to assist businesses navigate the financial hardships they faced due to the pandemic.
Authorities alleged that Scher submitted 12 applications for loans over a four-hour period on July 13, 2020 in a principal amount of $150,000 to the SBA over the Internet on behalf of 12 corporations he owned and controlled.
Between that July date and August 11, 2020, 11 of the 12 applicants received a net total of over $1.6 million in loan proceeds from the SBA.
He used the money to buy real estate and to pay credit card expenses instead of using it for working capital for the borrowers, as he had agreed to in the loan agreements.