A man from the Lower Hudson Valley is accused of stealing $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

On Thursday, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Damian Williams, announced a Rockland County man was charged in federal court in Westchester County for allegedly scheming to defraud.

Spring Valley Man Charged In White Plains, New York Federal Court With $1.6 Million Covid-19 Fraud Scheme

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Elizer Scher, 33, of Spring Valley was charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.

“As alleged, the defendant schemed to steal taxpayer funds intended for small businesses in need of assistance during the pandemic. My Office will continue to investigate and prosecute those who illegally seek to profit from a national emergency," U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said.

On Thursday, officials unsealed an indictment in White Plains federal court charging the Rockland County man with wire fraud in connection with his alleged scheme to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration of more than $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

FBI Helps Arrest Rockland County Man For Alleged COVID Fraud

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“Administration of more than $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds. Elizier Scher allegedly made materially-false statements in at least a dozen applications for money intended to assist honest businesses (to) navigate the financial hardships they faced as a consequence of the pandemic. As today’s action demonstrates, the FBI remains committed to bringing to justice those who would aim to serve their own greed at the expense of the government and American taxpayers," FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael J. Driscoll said.

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Scher is accused of submitting 12 applications to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program during a four-hour period on July 13, 2020. The loan program was designed to help small businesses recover from the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Scher received $1,648,900 in loan proceeds from 11 of the 12 applicants, officials say.

Scher is accused of using the money to buy real estate and to pay credit card expenses instead of using it for working capital for the borrowers, as he stated he would do in his loan agreement,s officials say.

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