By Kevin Deutsch
A decorated Coral Springs police detective has been indicted for fraudulently applying to the U.S. Small Business Administration for a COVID-19 relief advance grant and a low-interest loan, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
According to the indictment, unsealed Thursday in federal district court in Miami, Detective Jason Scott Carter, 44, of Boca Raton, submitted a fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loan application and loan agreement on behalf of Jason S. Carter, Inc., a South Florida business he allegedly owned and operated, according to the Department of Justice.
The indictment states that Carter’s application falsely and fraudulently certified his business had gross revenues of $100,000 in the twelve 12 months prior to January 31, 2020. In reality, his business had only minimal gross revenues during that period, prosecutors said.
The indictment also charges Carter with falsely and fraudulently certifying that he would use the funds solely to alleviate the economic damage the pandemic caused his business. In fact, according to the charges, Carter spent more than $21,000 of the SBA loan money at a car repair and detailing company for luxury vehicles and high-end auto parts.
The indictment charges Carter with one count of wire fraud. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Carter made his initial appearance Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce E. Reinhart. He was released on an unspecified bond, pending trial.
The investigation was spearheaded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General and involved other federal agencies, prosecutors said.
In 2020, Florida’s Attorney General Ashley Moody selected Carter as the Florida Law Enforcement Official of the Year.
“Jason has worked tirelessly to protect the children of our community,” Moody said at the time, citing his work in child exploitation cases. “I am very proud of Detective Carter. He is a staunch defender of vulnerable children.”
In 2021, Carter received Evelyn D. Williams Memorial Award. The honor recognized Carter’s tenacity during a January 2020 operation that saw him work over 150 hours in a two-week period in support of Super Bowl human trafficking operations.
The operation led to the rescue of four children who were being trafficked and three federal arrests. An ensuing investigation located victims across eight states and included 80 victims between the ages of 10 to 14, authorities said.
In a statement Thursday, Coral Springs Police said Carter had been placed on administrative leave.
“Yesterday, the Coral Springs Police Department was notified of an indictment against Detective Jason Carter,” the departmental statement reads. “Immediately upon being notified of this information, we began our administrative process, and Detective Carter was placed on Administrative Leave. We are working with the FBI to obtain all the necessary information to move forward with other administrative actions.”
- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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