By BEACON STAFF A Warwick man who was charged in the nation's first Paycheck Protection Program fraud case has pleaded guilty to charges in federal court. David Andrew Butziger, 52, entered the plea on a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud before
A Warwick man who was charged in the nation’s first Paycheck Protection Program fraud case has pleaded guilty to charges in federal court.
David Andrew Butziger, 52, entered the plea on a charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud before U.S. District Court Judge Mary S. McElroy on Sept. 18, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Aaron L. Weisman. His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 18.
According to prosecutors, Butziger admitted to conspiring with 53-year-old David Adler Staveley of Andover, Massachusetts, “to seek forgivable loans guaranteed by the SBA, claiming to have dozens of employees earning wages at four different business, three restaurants and an electronics business, when, in fact, there were no employees working for any of the businesses.”
Specifically, prosecutors say Butziger admitted to submitting a PPP loan application through BankNewport in March of this year on behalf of an entity called Dock Wireless.
The application sought $105,381.50 and “fraudulently represented that Dock Wireless had 7 employees and an average monthly payroll of $42,152.60,” the statement from Weisman’s office reads. “According to the government, in truth and in fact, Dock Wireless had no employees and no wages were ever paid by Dock Wireless.”
Butziger also admitted to conspiring with Staveley to submit three other PPP loan applications, seeking a total of $438,577 for three restaurants – Top of the Bay and Remington House in Warwick and On The Trax in Berlin, Massachusetts.
“An investigation determined that Remington House and On The Trax were not open for business prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and at the time the loan applications were submitted, and that Staveley did not own or have any role in Top of the Bay restaurant,” the statement from Weisman’s office reads.
Staveley was indicted Sept. 2 on three counts of bank fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, false statements to influence the SBA, aggravated identity theft and failure to appear in court as required, according to prosecutors.
He is currently in federal custody awaiting trial, but his story has taken bizarre turns since the original criminal complaint was filed in May.
Prosecutors allege that Staveley faked his own death while on pre-trial release following his spring arrest. Between May and July, he is alleged to have traveled to various states “using false identities and stolen license plates” in an effort to avoid apprehension. The release from Weisman’s office lists Kurt David Sanborn and David Sanborn as aliases used by Staveley.
He was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals in Alpharetta, Georgia, in July.