HENDERSON, Nev. (KLAS) — In federal court Friday, Brandon Casutt, 55 of Henderson, plead guilty to fraudulently getting more than $500,000 in loans under the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. It’s money he then laundered through family and friends to buy a house.
According to the plea, Casutt submitted 11 fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications between April 2020 and July 2020. The government said Casutt tried to get more than $5.7 million using a business and charity names.
The government said the approved PPP loan for approximately $350,000 was in the name of a business called Sky DeSign; and an EIDL for roughly $150,000 in the name of a charity called Skyler’s C.F. Foundation.
Each loan application stated both the business and charity had “numerous employees, significant payroll expenses, and substantial revenue; however, the entities had few if any employees, paid little or no wages, and had little if any revenues.”
In the guilty plea, Casutt admitted to laundering the relief checks he was sent by writing a series of fake payroll checks from the depositing bank account. He then wrote dozens of checks from this account, in the amount of $8,330 each to himself, family, and friends.
The government said Casutt wrote, “pandemic pay” or “back pay” in the check’s memo line.
Once these people had deposited the checks, they diverted the funds back to a bank account in the name of Skyler’s C.F. Foundation. He then used this money to buy a $400,000 house in Henderson that he and his family moved into in June 2020.
Casutt’s sentencing is scheduled for January 17, 2023. Casutt faces a total maximum statutory penalty of 40 years in prison.