MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD)– On May 2, 2023, U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown announced that 57-year-old Michael Ansezell Tolliver was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release for money laundering in connection with a fraudulent scheme to obtain more than $1.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program loans. Tolliver was also ordered to pay $1,114,724 in restitution.

The significant sentence handed down today demonstrates that those who steal from
COVID-19 relief programs for personal gain will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the
law. We remain committed to rooting out bad actors who took advantage of federal programs meant to help those small businesses truly in need.

Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s
Criminal Division

This defendant stole over $1 million through fraudulent means and used those funds
to support his own personal lifestyle, taking from those whose legitimate businesses were
suffering from losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Federal programs such as these are set up to help those in need, not to benefit those who do not. It is a priority for our office to prosecute those who obtain these benefits illegally. We look forward to continued collaboration with the DOJ’s fraud section in aggressively investigating similar crimes related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown

In December 2022, Tolliver pled guilty to one count of money laundering. According
to court documents, Tolliver submitted nine fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program loan
applications on behalf of several purported companies that Tolliver owned, including Tolliver
Oil & Gas Corporation of Louisiana, Inc. and Tolliver Petroleum Corporation of Louisiana.
Tolliver falsified information in the loan applications and supporting documents, including
falsely claiming that some of his businesses had over 100 employees. He also submitted
falsified federal tax returns.

Mr. Tolliver chose greed over compassion by fraudulently obtaining funds from the
PPP and EIDL programs established to assist employers severely impacted by the pandemic. Tolliver’s sentence today should stand as a warning to those who fraudulently received or may have attempted to fraudulently receive funds intended to help businesses during the COVID epidemic.

James E. Dorsey, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Atlanta Field

This result reveals the excellence achieved through the combined efforts of the Small
Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Attorney’s Office to uncover and forcefully
respond to PPP and EIDL fraud. SBA is strongly committed to identifying and aggressively pursuing instances of fraud perpetrated by those who took advantage of small business emergency relief programs. We applaud the work that our law enforcement partners have done to ensure fraudsters are held accountable.

Special Counsel Peggy Delinois Hamilton of the SBA

According to officials,

Tolliver sought more than $7.6 million in PPP and EIDL Program loans and obtained more than $1.1 million. Tolliver then laundered and misused the loan proceeds, including by transferring the funds to personal bank accounts and purchasing luxury goods. Authorities seized approximately $128,500 from bank accounts, as well as a 2020 Cadillac CT5 sedan, a 2021 GMC Sierra 1500 truck, two Tissot watches, two Tag Heuer watches, and three Honda all-terrain vehicles.

Since the PPP began, Fraud Section attorneys have prosecuted more than 100 defendants in more than 70 criminal cases. The Fraud Section has also seized more than $65 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained PPP funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with such proceeds.