CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire man has been indicted on charges of fraudulently obtaining more than $1 million in CARES Act loans for nonexistent companies and using the identities of dead people in his applications.
The federal grand jury indictment alleges that Heath Gauthier, 46, of Rochester, fraudulently applied for more than a dozen loans under the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs between February 2020 and March 2021.
The programs were authorized by Congress to help millions of people and businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The indictment alleges that Gauthier listed the dead individuals in some loan applications as owners or employees of the fictitious companies, and submitted false tax documents and counterfeit driver’s licenses. He was charged with multiple counts of wire fraud, attempted wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Gauthier was taken into custody Thursday. A message seeking comment was left with his lawyer.