A man from Hazelwood, Missouri on Tuesday admitted involvement in a series of schemes that cost or intended to cost victims a total of $404,415.
Naquan Powers, 27, pleaded guilty to four felony counts of bank fraud and three felony counts of aggravated ID theft in front of U.S. District Judge Matthew T. Schelp.
Powers admitted buying three vehicles from a Florissant dealership between June 24, 2019, and August 23, 2019, and using fraudulent Social Security cards and driver’s licenses to apply for loans. After buying a Chevrolet Impala with an $18,098 loan, a $42,086 Chevrolet Tahoe, and a BMW 428 XI for $29,079, powers was arrested trying to buy a Dodge Challenger with a $38,191 loan. The total intended loss for the four vehicles is $127,454.
In 2018 and 2019, Powers accessed multiple Discover Bank accounts belonging to other people and changed information in these accounts so he could receive debit cards and bank checks for the accounts. Powers’ intended loss for this scheme was $11,754.
After his arrest, Powers aided at least four others in making or attempting fraudulent purchases of vehicles at multiple vehicle dealerships throughout St. Louis and the southern Illinois areas, causing a total loss of $244,374.
Then, in 2020 and 2021, Powers applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan and four Economic Injury and Disaster Loans pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the CARES Act), claiming he was a sole proprietor in the general freight trucking industry. Powers submitted a fraudulent tax form and a bank statement and received $20,832 in PPP funds.
Five others involved with Powers’ schemes have also been charged.
Powers is scheduled to be sentenced on June 30. The bank fraud charges carry a potential sentence of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both prison and a fine. The aggravated ID theft charges carry a mandatory minimum sentence of two years consecutive to all other sentences.
The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke is prosecuting the case.