64-year-old Russell Lee Carruth of Lerain Court in Statesville was arrested Friday (September 22) by…
A Catawba County man received a prison sentence in a federal case connected to fraudulent activity regarding government programs and a 2021 bank robbery in Newton. 36-year-old Spenc’r Denard Rickerson of Claremont was sentenced Tuesday (August 1) to six years in prison followed by two years of supervised release for committing 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. Rickerson was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $87,583.
According to court documents and evidence presented at Rickerson’s 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 U.S. 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. As a result of the fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications, Rickerson received more than $84,233 in fraudulent funds intended to assist businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Court documents show that, in addition to the fraudulent loan scheme, on March 18, 2021, Rickerson committed an armed robbery of a BB&T branch located on North Main Avenue, in Newton. WHKY previously reported on the bank robbery and Rickerson’s subsequent arrest. He used the stolen funds from the fraudulent loan scheme and the bank robbery to pay bills and to buy cryptocurrency.
Rickerson is in federal custody. He will be transferred to the custody of the Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. The FBI investigated the case with the assistance of the Newton Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny G. Sugar of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte handled the prosecution.