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Grand Rapids man sentenced to prison for COVID relief fraud

Prison bars
Posted at 12:52 PM, Dec 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-21 12:52:09-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A Grand Rapids man who plotted to collect more than $1.4 million in COVID-19 relief funds has been sentenced to more than seven years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten announced Wednesday that 47-year-old Jemar Mason will spend 87 months behind bars.

He will also have to pay nearly $1.5 million in restitution and be supervised after his release.

During the pandemic, Mason and four others created fake applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans and later laundered the funds through car purchases and other payroll expenses.

In addition to the conspiracy, Mason also trafficked cocaine, which the DEA intercepted during the federal investigation.

“Instead of treating the COVID-19 pandemic as a tragedy, Jemar Mason welcomed it as an opportunity to get rich quick. He took money intended to keep workers from losing their jobs, all while dealing cocaine,” said U.S. Attorney Mark Totten for the Western District of Michigan. “My office remains committed to holding fraudsters fully accountable for their misdeeds.”

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