Arroyo Grande developer charged with obtaining $1.5M in fraudulent pandemic relief loans
A real estate broker and developer from Arroyo Grande was in federal court May 26 on charges that he stole the identifies of employees and business associates to obtain more than $1.5 million in fraudulent pandemic relief loans.
Alfred Nevis, 52, has been charged with wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and money laundering. He made his first court appearance May 26 in Portland, Oregon, where he pleaded not guilty and was released pending a jury trial that is scheduled to begin Aug. 2, according to a May 26 news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Oregon.
If convicted on all counts, he could face up to 32 years in prison and fines of up to $500,000.
According to the federal indictment, from April through August of 2020, Nevis used the identities of multiple people he knew to obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loans, a program funded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or the CARES Act, to provide low-interest loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prosecutors say Nevis used the stolen identities to register straw corporations and obtain employer identification numbers from the IRS, and submitted loan applications to the U.S. Small Business Administration on behalf of those straw corporations.
Nevis is accused of submitting at least 12 EIDL applications using the identities of eight different people and was awarded more than $1.5 million from the SBA. He is also accused of laundering at least $160,000 of the money.
“In one instance, Nevis claimed a straw corporation called Isley Farms, registered in Oregon, had 12 employees and generated more than $725,000 in revenue in a 12-month period ending in January 2020,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in its news release.
According to a website for The Nevis Company, Nevis founded the real estate firm in 2008. The site says the company owns and manages commercial, residential and agricultural properties in Central and Northern California, including more than 2 million square feet of office and industrial space.