College Station Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for PPP and Car Dealership Fraud

College Station Pastor Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison for PPP and Car Dealership Fraud

William Dexter Lucas, a 61-year-old man, has been sentenced to 97 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, as announced by U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.

Lucas entered his guilty plea on December 8, 2022, admitting his role in a scheme to pilfer funds from the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) and various car dealerships. The fraud involved fabricating forms to secure car loans. U.S. District Judge Charles Eskridge delivered the sentence, which includes 97 months of federal prison time followed by five years of supervised release. Lucas is also required to pay $286,359.14 in restitution to the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the victimized car dealerships.

Judge Eskridge highlighted Lucas’s extensive efforts to carry out the fraud, including forging documents and manipulating potential witnesses. The court considered additional evidence, such as Lucas’s criminal history and his reluctance to accept responsibility for his actions.

William Dexter Lucas, described by Hamdani as a “con man,” utilized various schemes simultaneously, masquerading as the leader of a fictitious church, the “Jesus Survives Ministry.” His aim was to defraud local businesses and exploit funds meant for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lucas confessed to conspiring with others to defraud car dealerships and the U.S. government from 2017 to 2020. Operating under the guise of the non-existent church, he applied for a $50,000 PPP loan to cover imaginary payroll needs. Lucas, using multiple aliases, also submitted fraudulent forms and financial statements to secure car loans from various dealerships.

The total losses incurred by the scheme exceeded $400,000, impacting both the SBA and car dealerships across the country. In an attempt to conceal his crimes, Lucas filed false claims of stolen identity with the Federal Trade Commission when authorities began their investigation.

Hamdani expressed relief that the law had caught up with Lucas, stating, “Thankfully the law has caught up to William Lucas, giving him ample time to think over his past sins as he sits in a prison cell.”

Following the sentencing, Lucas, previously released on bond, has been ordered into custody pending transfer to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility, yet to be determined. The investigation was conducted by Homeland Security Investigations, with assistance from the SBA and Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.