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Saugerties man accused of stealing CARES funds

Sep 18, 2020 5:45 am
The Daily Freeman is reporting Jean R. Lavanture, also known as Rudy Lavanture, 47, of Saugerties has been arrested and charged with bank fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office September 17, alleged Lavanture stole a total of nearly $5 million in government-backed coronavirus loans and could face up to 30 years in federal prison. He was apprehended at his home in New Jersey. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act loans are meant to assist businesses struggling to survive the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic. FBI Special Agent in Charge Thomas F. Relford called the allegations against Lavanture “appalling.” The criminal complaint alleges that between June 16 and July 22, Lavanture received about $4,906,000 in Paycheck Protection Program loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, which were issued by two banks and the Small Business Association to five Saugerties-based companies he controlled. In the loan applications, Lavanture is alleged to have falsely represented that each company had employees, substantial revenues and payroll, and he submitted fraudulent tax documents in support of the lies, prosecutors said. It is also alleged that Lavanture has improperly used loaned funds to make property purchases and pay personal expenses, as well. He is accused of using the funds to purchase a motel in Rockaway Beach, Missouri, and an 18-room Tuscan-style mansion on 5.6 acres in Byram Township, New Jersey. Read the full story in the Daily Freeman.