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Spenc'r Denard Rickerson
WHKY file photo

Claremont Man Convicted Of Bank Robbery, Fraud & ID Theft In Federal Case

A federal grand jury sitting in Statesville has convicted 35-year-old Spenc’r Denard Rickerson of Claremont of bank robbery, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. The announcement was made by Dena J. King, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. U.S. District Judge Kenneth D. Bell presided over the two-day trial which ended Friday.

According to court documents, witness testimony and evidence presented at trial, between June 30, 2020, and March 20, 2021, Rickerson used false information to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan and multiple Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Trial evidence established that, in order to obtain the PPP loan, Rickerson submitted a fraudulent application for a non-existent company that contained a number of false information, including the purpose of the loan and the company’s payroll costs. Rickerson also submitted fraudulent applications for several loans under the EIDL program, in which he provided fake information about the number of company employees and gross revenues. According to trial evidence, as a result of the fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications, Rickerson allegedly received over $84,233 in fraudulent funds intended to assist businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

According to evidence presented at trial, in addition to the fraudulent loan scheme, on March 18, 2021, Rickerson committed an armed robbery of a BB&T Bank located at 12 North Main Avenue, in Newton. Rickerson used the stolen funds from the fraudulent loan scheme and the bank robbery to pay bills and to buy cryptocurrency.

Rickerson remains free on bond. The maximum statutory penalty for the bank robbery offense is 25 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The aggravated identity theft charge carries a mandatory two-year prison term consecutive to any other prison term imposed. A sentencing date has not been set. The FBI in Charlotte investigated the case.