Saturday, May 25, 2024

Former Wenatchee man sentenced to prison for fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 Relief Funds


SPOKANE - Jason Carnell O'Daffer, formerly of Wenatchee, has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release for fraudulently obtaining more than $117,000 in COVID-19 relief funding, according to an announcement by Vanessa R. Waldref, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Washington.

O'Daffer admitted to fraudulently obtaining $117,400 in Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) funding for his purported home appraisal business, Chelan Douglas Appraisal Services. However, at the time of his EIDL application, O'Daffer was not licensed as an appraiser, and his business was no longer conducting home appraisals. Instead of using the funds for their intended purpose, O'Daffer spent the loan proceeds on non-business expenses, including more than $39,000 for the purchase of a personal RV.

In December 2022, O'Daffer was arrested in San Francisco. Following his initial appearance, he absconded from his pretrial release and remained at large until his subsequent arrest in March 2023.

“Mr. O’Daffer fraudulently obtained funds, set aside to help struggling small and local businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mr. O’Daffer spent the funds on a recreational vehicle and a cross-country road trip. Then, while on pretrial release following his arrest, Mr. O’Daffer disappeared until he was arrested again a few months later,” stated U.S. Attorney Waldref. “I am grateful for the excellent investigative work of the Secret Service and the COVID-19 Strike Force to hold Mr. O’Daffer accountable. My office’s White-Collar team will continue to vigorously prosecute those who abuse and misuse COVID-19 funding.”

The case was investigated by the Eastern District of Washington COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force, the U.S. Secret Service, Spokane Resident Office and San Francisco Field Office, and the SBA OIG. Assistant United States Attorneys Jeremy Kelly and Tyler H.L. Tornabene prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.


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