Greenville man who fraudulently obtained COVID-19 disaster loans returned to jail after flying to Hawaii and Las Vegas while on medical release

RALEIGH, NC (WITN) – A Greenville man was remanded into custody on Tuesday after the feds said he was released from behind bars for treatment before going to jail, but that he instead flew to Hawaii and Las Vegas where he banked over $90,000.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office said Shawn Farmer, 53, was sentenced to 1 and a quarter years in prison for fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 disaster loans and engaging in bank fraud using stolen social security numbers.

Federal prosecutors said that although he was initially detained, Farmer was released for treatment before returning to prison. Upon his release, he was under the supervision of the United States probation office and was not authorized to travel.

WITN learns that in January of this year, members of the COVID Fraud Benefits Task Force discovered that Farmer had traveled to Hawaii and obtained a Hawaii driver’s license. Plus, he’s banked up to $92,000 in Las Vegas casinos. When identifying him for tax purposes, Farmer used a social security number that is not his. At that time, he still owed over $42,000 on his federal criminal judgment.

Prosecutors say Farmer was arrested soon after and last Friday in federal court the judge revoked Farmer’s release and ordered that he be sent to jail to serve his sentence.

Farmer previously pleaded guilty to false, fictitious, and fraudulent allegations, violating Title 18, United States Code, Section 287; and Bank fraud and complicity, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344 and 2.

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