Bloomington man sentenced to three years in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (IUSTV News) – A federal judge has sentenced a Bloomington man to more than three years in federal prison for pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana, says that 73-year-old Robert K. Hall conspired to defraud multiple businesses through email scams, and by taking advantage of the COVID-19 loan and unemployment programs from September 2019 to December 2020.

Hall pled guilty to attempting to steal $668,746.14, but prosecutors say that some of the fraudulent transactions were blocked, and he only received $399,868.36 from the scheme.

Prosecutors say that Hall worked with co-conspirators and laundered the stolen money through his own bank accounts.

In September 2019, prosecutors allege Hall used a fraudulent email acting as a recognized vendor to steal $113,550 from a business by directing the business to transfer future payments to a different account, that was tied to hall.

In July 2020, prosecutors say Hall filed a fraudulent Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). By fraudulently filing an application without knowledge or consent of the business used on the application, the proceeds of the loans were deposited into an account controlled by Hall.

Between May 2020 and December 2020, prosecutors say that unemployment benefit applications were submitted in several states using more than a dozen identities that had been stolen. The benefits were deposited into bank accounts linked to Hall, who then disbursed the money to his co-conspirators.

Following his release, Hall will be on federal probation for three years.