Chicago-area trio charged with defrauding $2.75M in COVID relief funds to buy luxury cars, property

Three people from the Chicago area are facing charges for illegally receiving more than $2.75 million in small business loans from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Samuel W. Jackson, David L. Sullivan II and Elizabeth A. Chervinko are accused of submitting fraudulent applications and documents that lied about their companies and their number of purported employees, revenue and payroll amounts, according to an indictment that was unsealed Tuesday in the Northern District of Illinois.

The trio defrauded lenders of roughly $2.49 million in funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and $256,500 from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDLP). The group used the money to buy real estate as well as lease and purchase luxury automobiles.


PPP loans are required to be used on essential expenses such as payroll, rent and utilities while ELIDL loans and grants cover working capital and operating expenses.

Jackson, of Chicago, was charged with five counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Sullivan, of Naperville, and Chervinko, of Chicago, each face one count of wire fraud.

Jackson, 42, pleaded not guilty Tuesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sunil R. Harjani. 

Sullivan and Chervinko, 49 and 41, have their arraignments scheduled for Aug. 17 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole.

Each wire fraud charge is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.