24 Shreveport street gang affiliates indicted of CARES act fraud scheme


U.S. attorney Brandon Brown announced the indictment of 24 individuals on charges related to a CARES Act fraud scheme. The individuals are all either members or closely associated with Shreveport street gang, Step or Die or SOD. Brown said the defendants took advantage of small business pandemic relief loans to fund criminal activity.

“To obtain or attempt to obtain anywhere from approximately $20,000 to approximately $200,000 thus taking advantage of America in her most vulnerable state.”

Investigation found many of the businesses to have only appeared well into the Covid-19 pandemic or never exist at all. Brown says the defendants manufactured a variety of artificial businesses…

“They says they have a hair business or cattle farm businesses, barbershops. You think of it, they’ve tried to get money that way.”

All 24 defendants face counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and varying charges or wire fraud. If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison, 1 to 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Brown says this why he became a federal prosecutor…

“This is just another example of how we can use even wire fraud and white collar statutes to try to take down violent-crime organizations.”

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