- A Florida man showed officials investigating him for fraud a fake pardon signed by Donald Trump.
- The US government seized $337,000 from Alexander Leszczynski, 22, the Justice Department said.
- Leszczynski is charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering and faces up to 30 years in prison.
A Florida man who was under investigation for fraud tried to vindicate himself by producing a fake presidential pardon signed by former President Donald Trump, according to the Justice Department.
Alexander Leszczynski, 22 and from North Redington Beach, Florida, has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and money laundering, a release from the Justice Department says.
“The United States ultimately seized $337,000 from an account Leszczynski controlled and, when he discovered that the money had been frozen, he attempted to have it released by producing a fabricated pardon purportedly signed by former President Donald Trump,” the release says.
Presidential pardons offer “executive clemency, which is a broad term that applies to the President’s constitutional power to exercise leniency toward persons who have committed federal crimes,” the Justice Department says.
Leszczynski used fake charities such as Love & Bliss, Inc. to facilitate various fraudulent activities, according to the release. He, for example, applied for and successfully received two Payroll Protection Plan loans, given by the US Treasury during the course of the pandemic to offset financial burdens brought on by the coronavirus.
He also attempted to “deposit $2.7 million of worthless checks into the Love & Bliss, Inc. business account” and “laundered the proceeds of the PPP and check kiting schemes through multiple accounts in an effort to conceal those proceeds from the United States and forestall its recovery,” according to the release.
Additionally, he filed multiple fraudulent deeds collectively valued at more than $300 million.
“When property owners and attorneys attempted to correct the fraudulent deeds, Leszczynski responded by sending harassing and threatening letters, emails, and faxes,” the release says.
If convicted on all counts, Leszczynski could face up to 30 years in prison.