Nevada man charged with fraud, taking $500,000 in virus funds

A Henderson man has been arrested on charges he fraudulently obtained $500,000 in coronavirus funding and laundered the money through friends to buy a house.

Brandon Casutt, 49, is charged with false statements to financial institutions, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and unlawful monetary transactions. He is accused of submitting fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration and Paycheck Protection Program as well as the CARES Act’s Economic Disaster Loan program.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office says he got about $350,000 in a PPP loan for a business called Sky DeSign and an EIDL loan of $150,000 for a charity called Skyler’s CF Foundation.

Federal officials say the applications claimed both those organizations had numerous expenses and employees but investigators say neither has employees or pays any wages.

The charges say he then wrote checks to family members and friends and himself labeled as “back pay” and “pandemic pay,” diverting the money to an account he had access too.

The money, some $400,000, was used to buy a house in Henderson that he and his family moved into in June.


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