A federal judge yesterday sentenced Shane Spierdowis, 31, of Hull, to two years in federal prison for collecting pandemic economic funds he had no right to - because they were based on shell companies, and he claimed money for a period that included the time he was in prison for violating probation on an earlier securities-fraud conviction.
Spierdowis pleaded guilty in October.
The US Attorney's office sums up the case:
Spierdowis used multiple shell companies and forged bank records to fraudulently apply for and obtain a federally funded Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Spierdowis used Social Security numbers different from his own and fraudulent documentation to open bank accounts for his shell companies. He also provided a fraudulent corporate bank statement reflecting a balance exceeding $220,000 but dated before the pertinent bank account was ever opened.
As a result, Spierdowis obtained an SBA Paycheck Protection Program loan of $101,517 for one of his shell companies, the funds for which were wired to a bank in Massachusetts. Spierdowis also obtained an SBA EIDL in the amount of $89,900 using a separate shell company.
Additionally, with respect to both loans, Spierdowis submitted fraudulent federal tax forms for both shell companies that included his signature, as the purported president of each company, and the purported payment of hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages to purported employees during each quarter in 2019. In reality, however, for part of Q1 2019 and all of Q2 – Q4 2019, Spierdowis was in federal custody after violating his probation arising from a federal conviction for conspiracy to commit securities fraud.
In a sentencing memorandum, federal prosecutors detailed those violations, stemming from a 2018 conviction when he was living in Florida - after first noting that he caught a break because the judge declined to add onto his sentence just because he tested positive for cocaine right before sentencing, following "an apparent all-night' cocaine and strippers' binge."
In fact, the judge sentenced him to just probation. He eventually wound up behind bars for violating the terms of his probation, or as prosecutors say:
Thereafter, the Defendant engaged in a "pattern of conduct" that resulted in a series of probation violations, including false statements regarding his whereabouts and repeated "nastiness," "belligerence," and disrespect towards U.S. Probation ("USPO"). USPO indicated that it lacked the resources to supervise the Defendant given his behavior. Id. At p. 6. The U.S. Magistrate Judge found that the Defendant had been lying to USPO and had committed repeated violations, and that he was "not likely to obey any order" of the Court.
The Defendant subsequently submitted a letter to the Court pledging his intention that this be his "last experience with the court system." The Defendant contrasted himself with criminals who do not care who they hurt, emphasizing "I DO CARE."
The Defendant also gave the Court his word that he would not commit any further violations. With shrewdness and wisdom, the U.S. District Court found that there was "absolutely no reason to believe" the Defendant's protestations that he was a changed man. The Court noted that the Defendant had violated his terms of probation "time and time and time and time again," and revoked this probation.
Spierdowis was released in June, 2020, just in time to begin working on his fraudulent applications for pandemic assistance.