Money

SEATTLE - On Thursday, November 18, a federal jury convicted a Seattle doctor of fraudulently obtaining over $3.5 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) COVID-19 relief funds.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, 41-year-old Eric R. Shibley, of Seattle, submitted several fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications to federally insured financial institutions, other Small Business Administration (SBA)-approved lenders, and the SBA, in the names of businesses with no actual operations or by otherwise misrepresenting the business’s eligibility.

In the applications, Shibley falsified the number of employees and payroll expenses and concealed his own criminal history. To support the fraudulent applications, Shibley submitted fake tax documents and the names of purported employees who did not, in fact, work for the businesses for which Shibley claimed they worked. Shibley received over $2.8 million in COVID-19 relief funds as a result of the fraud.

Shibley was convicted of multiple counts of wire fraud, multiple counts of bank fraud, and money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 22, 2022, and faces up to 20 years for each count of wire fraud, 30 years for each count of bank fraud, and 10 years for money laundering. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866‑720‑5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.