Fayette County Man Sentenced for COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme

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PITTSBURGH, PA — A Fayette County resident has been sentenced in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud. U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced the sentencing on Tuesday.

Terrence Newmeyer Jr., 46, was sentenced by United States Senior District Judge Arthur J. Schwab to one day in prison, three years of supervised release, six months of home incarceration, and six months of home detention. Newmeyer was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $31,280.

Newmeyer had been employed as a salesman at RC Auto, a used car dealership in Fayette County. Alongside his co-conspirator, RC Auto owner Joshua DeWitt, Newmeyer submitted a series of fraudulent applications for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) COVID-19 relief loans. The pair even went so far as to file applications on behalf of customers, leading some to believe they were applying for funds to purchase vehicles from the dealership. The fraudulently obtained pandemic benefits were then used by Newmeyer and DeWitt for their personal gain and the dealership’s operations.

Co-conspirator DeWitt had previously been sentenced on February 14, 2024, to 10 months in prison and two years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $60,022.50.

Before passing sentence on Newmeyer, Judge Schwab noted that the fraudulent conspiracy spanned several months and involved deliberate criminal activity.

Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey Bengel prosecuted the case. This case is another reminder of the severe penalties awaiting those who seek to exploit pandemic relief funds.

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