A 44-year-old Coral Springs police officer who lives in Boca Raton has been accused of defrauding a federal program designed to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 storm.
Jason Scott Carter used the lion’s share of a $29,000 disaster relief loan he got from the U.S. Small Business Administration on repairs and services for his vintage car, federal prosecutors said in court papers.
Carter appeared in U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach on Thursday and was released on a $200,000 bond. He faces a maximum 20-year prison term if convicted of a single charge of wire fraud.
His arrest came two years after he was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year in 2020 by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody. Carter, a detective, was honored at a Human Trafficking Summit that Moody organized.
According to an indictment, in a March 2020 loan application, Carter falsely claimed his business had $100,000 in gross revenues in the year before the pandemic paralyzed the nation. In reality, Jason S. Carter Inc. collected little money, prosecutors said.
Further, as part of the application, Carter promised he would use the loan only to help the business survive the pandemic. Instead, he used $21,000 from the loan at an unidentified luxury car repair and detailing company, prosecutors said.
Jane Musgrave covers federal and civil courts and occasionally ventures into criminal trials in state court. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: South Florida police officer from Boca accused of COVID loan fraud