Fraudulent COVID Funds Used to Buy Tesla Stock

He was ordered to forfeit thousands of shares — whose value had jumped nearly 10-fold.

If Google Analytics is to be trusted, we know that our readers are always interested in Tesla, financial fraud, and ironic justice — and rarely do we see all three in one story.

So I guess we have to offer some form of gratitude to Andrew Lloyd of Lebanon, Oregon.

Lloyd’s journey to this incredible trifecta of reporting gold started in April 2020. He submitted numerous CARES Act loan applications using false company names, phony tax documents, and the personal information of relatives and business associates without their permission. 

Perhaps shocked at how easy it was to obtain those initial funds, Lloyd would submit a total of nine Paycheck Protection Program applications; six were ultimately funded for a total of $3.4 million. 

But unlike other COVID relief criminals who spent lavishly on sports cars, homes, jewelry or high-end escorts, Lloyd was responsible — and invested his ill-gotten gains.

After purchasing more than 20 properties in Oregon and California, he used the remaining $1.8 million to buy more than 15,000 shares of Tesla stock, which at the time was trading for $114 per share.

By January of 2021, the FBI was on to Lloyd, probably because he used the same information for a number of his false companies, including identical employee names and corporate mailing addresses. 

He and a friend named Russell Schort were charged with bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identify theft.

Lloyd was recently sentenced to 48 months in federal prison. He’ll also have to pay back the money he stole, surrender the properties he bought, and forfeit the Tesla stock, which, as of this writing, are trading at over $1100 per share. That’s a nifty 970% return, equal to more than $17.4 million.

So, if the government simply sells the stock, they can thank Lloyd’s criminal activities for a net gain of some $15.6 million on the stock alone — all of which could be transferred back to law enforcement.

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