Lee’s Summit, Missouri business owner indicted for CARES Act fraud scheme

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A Lee’s Summit, Mo., business owner has been indicted by a federal grand jury for spending more than $900,000 in federal COVID-19 business relief funds on personal real estate purchases and a Chevrolet Camaro.

Sammy Adam Joseph, 47, was charged in an eight-count indictment returned under seal by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Wednesday, Nov. 8. That indictment was unsealed and made public today upon Joseph’s arrest and initial court appearance.

Joseph remains in federal custody pending a detention hearing, which has not yet been scheduled. According to the government’s motion for detention, Joseph is a flight risk because he owns a condominium in Lebanon and has traveled to Lebanon three times in 2023. Joseph also poses a risk to the community because he has been identified in social media photos with assault weapons.

Joseph is the owner of Adams & Joseph, Inc., which operates two gas stations in the Kansas City, Mo., metropolitan area. According to the indictment, his business received nearly $1.9 million under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The purpose of the CARES Act was to provide emergency financial assistance due to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized the Small Business Administration to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans to eligible small businesses that experienced substantial financial disruption due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the indictment, Adams & Joseph received a total of $1,869,900 in EIDL disbursements between June 2020 and November 2021.

The indictment alleges that Joseph fraudulently used at least $900,000 of the EIDL proceeds for his benefit by using EIDL money to purchase a residence in Lee’s Summit, parcels of land in Kansas City, Mo., and Lee’s Summit, a building in Grandview, Mo., and a blue 2019 Chevrolet Camaro.

Joseph is charged with six counts of theft of government property, which are related to EIDL proceeds he allegedly spent on unauthorized purchases. Joseph is charged with two counts of money laundering, which are related to monetary transactions of criminally derived property.

The indictment also contains forfeiture allegations, which would require Joseph to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged offenses, including a money judgment of at least $948,120 and three parcels of real estate in Kansas City, Mo., Lee’s Summit, and Grandview.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul S. Becker. It was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.