Warwick man who applied for fraudulent relief loans gets probation

PROVIDENCE. RI (WPRI) – A Warwick man who, along with an accomplice, fraudulently requested hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief funds for small businesses was sentenced to three years probation on Wednesday.

Prosecutors say David Butziger, 53, admitted he and David Staveley, 54, of Andover, attempted to defraud the federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by soliciting $543,959 in loans- subsidies.

Prosecutors said the couple claimed to have dozens of paid employees at four businesses that weren’t open for business before the pandemic began.

Butziger and Staveley were the first two people in the country to be charged with fraudulently applying for pandemic relief loans when they were charged in May 2020.

Staveley, who first faked his own death and spent several months on the run before being apprehended, pleaded guilty last May. He was sentenced to almost five years behind bars.

Butziger pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in October 2020. He is to spend the first six months of his probation in custody, and was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

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