St. Louis County man accused of pandemic, disability fraud

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A man from St. Louis County, Missouri has been accused in an indictment of fraudulently obtaining $620,000 in COVID-19 pandemic loans and committing a separate fraud involving disability payments.

Preston Randall, 59, was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on May 15 with 13 felony charges: five counts each of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, two counts of theft of government property, and one count of concealing information from the Social Security Administration about a payment.

On Wednesday, Randall was arrested, appeared in court, and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The indictment says Randall applied for money from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, a Small Business Administration program intended to help struggling business owners during the pandemic. 

Between June 26, 2020, and Aug. 5, 2020, Randall filed five fraudulent loan applications using five different company names and the identities of two other people, the indictment says. The loan applications contained false information, including about gross revenue and the number of employees, the indictment says. Those fraudulent applications resulted in loans and advances totaling $620,000 that were deposited into accounts controlled by Randall, it says.

The indictment also accuses Randall of fraudulently obtaining $17,906 in Social Security Administration disability payments from March 2021 through October 2023 by concealing his receipt of the EIDL money and other resources.

The Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Diane Klocke is prosecuting the case.

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