Department of Justice
For Immediate Release
Springfield, Illinois, Man Sentenced to 42 Months’ Imprisonment for Possessing a Firearm as a Felon and COVID-19 Fraud
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A Springfield, Illinois, man, Carlos Wright, 32, of the 1800 block of 11th Street, was sentenced on September 21, 2022, to concurrent terms of 42 months’ imprisonment for possession of a firearm by a felon and 24 months’ imprisonment for wire fraud and false statements on loan applications, to be followed by concurrent three-year terms of supervised release. Additionally, Wright must pay restitution in the amount of $46,666.
At Wright’s sentencing hearing, U.S. District Judge Sue E. Myerscough found that Wright knowingly possessed a firearm, that is, a Century Arms Ras4, at a time when he knew he was a felon and was on probation. Additionally, Judge Myerscough found that Wright provided false information on applications to obtain pandemic Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans. Wright received a total of $41,666.00 in loan funds.
At the sentencing hearing, the government presented evidence that Wright does not own or operate any business and was not employed when he submitted the false applications. Further, at the time of his arrest for possessing a firearm as a felon, Wright had been driving around with the loaded firearm in the passenger seat.
A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Wright with the weapons charge in June 2021 and returned a second indictment charging Wright with the fraud offenses in December 2021. Wright pleaded guilty in April 2022.
Wright faced the following statutory penalties: 1) for possession of a firearm as a felon: not more than 10 years in prison, not more than a $250,000 fine, and not more than three years of supervised release; 2) for wire fraud: not more than 20 years in prison, not more than a $250,000 fine, not more than three years of supervised release, and restitution in an amount ordered by the Court; and 3) for false statements on a loan application: not more than 30 years in prison, not more than five years of supervised release, not more than a $1,000,000 fine, and restitution in an amount ordered by the Court.
“We very much appreciate the efforts of law enforcement to remove firearms from the hands of those not legally permitted to possess them,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore. “Additionally, we hope those who improperly obtained some of the limited funds available to help businesses during the pandemic realize the detriment they caused to their own community.”
“The U.S. Secret Service remains committed to investigating and arresting those that engage in crimes that undermine the integrity of the U.S. financial and payment systems,” said Stephen Webster, the Resident Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service’s Springfield, Illinois, Office.
The investigation of the firearm charge was conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Springfield Police Department. The wire fraud and false statements on loan application charges were investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sierra Senor-Moore represented the government in the prosecution.