Missouri Man Fixed Escalade, Bought Crypto with COVID Fraud Money

David Smiley obtained almost $55,000 of relief money for a company that did not exist

click to enlarge A man pleaded guilty in federal court today to fraudulently obtaining COVID relief funds.
Monica Obradovic
A man pleaded guilty in federal court today to fraudulently obtaining COVID relief funds.

A O’Fallon man admitted in federal court today that he invented a fake business and fraudulently obtained $54,900 for 13 fake employees who he said worked there.

David Smiley, 39, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

In July 2020, Smiley claimed on applications for COVID relief that he was the full owner of DC Investments. He claimed the company had annual revenues of $175,000.

The $54,900 of COVID relief money that Smiley obtained was intended to be used to prevent him from laying off employees. But because Smiley had no employees, he instead used the money to buy cryptocurrency and to fix his Cadillac Escalade.

He also used some of the ill-gotten money for private school tuition.

Smiley faces up to 20 years in prison and as much as a $250,000 fine.

His sentencing is scheduled for November 16.


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Ryan Krull

Ryan Krull is a staff writer for the Riverfront Times. Find him on Twitter @ryanwkrull
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