As business owners across the country struggle to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis, local businessman Casey Crowther has taken advantage of a criminal advantage of pandemic loans. WINK News looks back at how we discovered the misuse of funds and the trial that followed.
A series of wire transfers got Casey David Crowther into trouble with the law. He bought a new 40-foot invincible catamaran and shared it on social media. Records show that Crowther requested and received $2 million from the federal government to help preserve Target Roofing & Sheet Metal in Fort Myers during the pandemic.
Crowther is accused of using nearly $690,000 of the Paycheck Protection Program loan to purchase the boat, which the feds eventually seized.
Other businesses in southwest Florida have not had it easy with the paycheck protection program.
“[It was] Payroll for our employees, [it] said John Giaquinto, owner of Duval Street, a restaurant located at 4721 Vincennes Blvd. in Cape Coral. “We actually received half of what we asked for, which is a very small amount, and we had to wait until the second round in order to get anything at all.”
“They could keep people working to buy food, pay their bills, pay the rent,” said Laurie Thomas, co-owner of Clam Bake, a seafood restaurant located at 16520 South Tam Miami Trail in Fort Myers. “I just… I can’t understand this lie.”
Casey Crowther has since been indicted by a jury, and his clients now have questions. Crowther told them not to worry, for he had covered them and his workers. He told WINK that Target Roofing will operate as usual and the company will remain in his name.
But his name will still be stained by many of his fellow business owners.
“This is horrific,” said Martin Drexler, owner of Wise Guys Daily at 2117 West First Street in Fort Myers. “This is awful. This is horrible. [Theloan] It was used for companies to help people and hire people.”
Many people confuse Casey Crowther’s Target Roofing with Crowther Roofing; It is important to note that they are not related in any way.
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