Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

DOJ seal

Department of Justice

U.S. Attorney's Office
Eastern District of North Carolina
For Immediate Release
Thursday, March 21, 2024

Two Indicted in Scheme to Use Stolen Identities to Obtain Nearly $1 Million in Fraudulent COVID-19 Relief

RALEIGH, N.C. – A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment charging two men with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit money laundering concerning obtaining fraudulent proceeds of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) COVID-19 loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration.

“The pandemic is long over, but we won’t quit in our mission to run down stolen taxpayer money and ensure the integrity of federal relief programs,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Those who committed COVID-19 fraud should know - we’re well-resourced and we’re still coming.”

“Schemes to fraudulently obtain federal funds meant to provide assistance to small businesses is unacceptable,” said Donald “Trey” Eakins, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “Our field office continues to follow the evidence of crimes committed to obtain Economic Injury Disaster Loans and other COVID-19 funds intended for struggling businesses needing assistance during the pandemic and bring them to justice.”

According to the indictment, Tyreek Rasheed Exum, age 25, of Snow Hill, North Carolina, and Anthony Wandland, Jr., age 30, of Chicago, Illinois allegedly conspired to use over 20 stolen identities and the identities of co-conspirators to apply for EIDL and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits. The indictment alleges that Wandland provided Exum with the stolen identities, and, in exchange, Exum gave Wandland a percentage of the proceeds. Each loan application submitted by Exum allegedly contain false statements, misrepresentations, and omissions related to income, employment, and claimed business entities. Exum is alleged to have signed various financial documents, including loan and security agreements, in the names of those stolen identities and then had the loan proceeds deposited into his personal bank account, nominee bank accounts, bank accounts of family and friends, and into accounts in the names of stolen identities. Exum is alleged to have exercised control over these accounts by obtaining bank debit cards and by causing nominees to transfer the fraud proceeds to other accounts controlled by him via various digital mediums such as PayPal and CashApp. Exum allegedly withdrew the cash at multiple ATMs. In total, the indictment alleges Exum received nearly $1 million in fraudulent loan proceeds. If found guilty, Wandland and Exum face a maximum of 30 years in federal prison.

Michael Easley, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina made the announcement after United States Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr. accepted the plea. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Criminal Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, and Explosives, and the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office are leading the investigation. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Lisa K. Labresh is prosecuting the case.

On May 17, 2021, the United States Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. The Eastern District of North Carolina’s COVID Task Force is a part of this effort to coordinate fraud-related investigations and prosecutions in Eastern North Carolina. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit

Related court documents and information can be found on the website of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina or on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:22-cr-00180-D.

An indictment is merely an accusation. The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

An official website of the U.S. Department of Justice

Looking for U.S. government information and services?