BOSTON – A former Everett man was indicted today on identity theft and fraud charges in connection with schemes to fraudulently obtain an apartment and pandemic-related relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program made available under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
Tedje Menard, 27, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud, one count of false representation of a social security number and one count of aggravated identity theft. Menard was initially charged and arrested in November 2021.
According to the charging documents, in or around November 2020, Menard applied to rent an apartment in East Boston using the name and identity of another person. As part of the application and screening process, Menard falsely claimed to be the victim by providing the company overseeing the property with, among other things, the victim’s name, Social Security number, date of birth and a copy of a purported North Carolina driver’s license containing the victim’s information but depicting a photograph of Menard. Additionally, in June 2021, Menard allegedly submitted an EIDL application in the amount of $40,000 using the victim’s name and personal identifiable information.
It is also alleged that in April 2021, Menard used his own name to apply for a PPP loan in the amount of approximately $20,833. In the loan application, it is alleged that Menard falsely represented his business’ total gross income in 2019 and his criminal history.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of false representation of a social security number provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed, one year of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Valuable assistance was provided by the Department of Labor and the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Mackenzie Duane of Rollins’ Major Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.