Prosecutors: Fraudster Even Conned Fellow Inmates

Michael Moller also sentenced to almost 7 years over fraudulent PPP loans
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 14, 2021 6:20 PM CDT
Prosecutors: Repeat Fraudster Can't Stop Himself
   (Getty/Rattankun Thongbun)

A convicted bank robber is headed back to federal prison—this time for fraudulently seeking more than $4.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans. Michael Moller, 42, of Middletown, Rhode Island, was under federal supervised release following four armed bank robbery convictions when he filed 11 loan applications under the names of himself, his father, his girlfriend's son, and his girlfriend's brother, between April and August 2020, according to the US Attorney's Office for Rhode Island. He ultimately received $599,251 in loans that were meant to help out small businesses during the pandemic, which was spent on gambling, trips, a Camaro, and home renovations, per the Washington Post.

Moller—who had nine prior state convictions in Rhode Island and Massachusetts for larceny or obtaining money under false pretenses and two prior federal convictions for tax fraud—continued his deceptive behavior even as he awaited sentencing in the PPP case, per the Newport Daily News. While held at the Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls this summer, he called associates of two inmates, claiming to be an attorney who could help secure their freedom, according to authorities. He also requested payment. A friend of one inmate paid Moller's girlfriend $12,000 in cash, while the wife of another inmate handed over $5,000, the US Attorney's Office said.

"Moller is simply incapable of stopping himself from defrauding others," prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum, per the Post. The 42-year-old, who pleaded guilty to bank fraud a year ago, was sentenced Thursday in US District Court in Providence to almost seven years in federal prison (82 months and one day), to be followed by three years of federal supervised release. He was also ordered to pay back all of the loan money he received. (Another man who faked his death after fraudulently seeking PPP loans was sentenced in the same court last week.)

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