Mooresville man accused of multi-million dollar investment, COVID relief loan fraud

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — A Mooresville man is accused of carrying out an investment fraud scheme, fraudulently obtaining nearly $3 million in COVID-19 relief loans in the process.

Steven Andiloro was indicted on July 19. He’s charged with securities and wire fraud; if convicted, for each charge, he could spend up to 20 years in prison and pay a $250,000 fine. He’s also charged with money laundering, which has a sentence of up to 10 years.

Investigators said Andiloro used money from his investors to fund his personal lifestyle and to make Ponzi-style payments to his victims. Andiloro is also accused of submitting fraudulent applications for the Paycheck Protection Program, receiving millions of dollars as a result.

According to the indictment, from January 2018 to December 2021, Andiloro allegedly operated the investment fraud scheme. Investigators believe he wasn’t truthful to his investors about how their money would be used, and he convinced them to invest their money in both real and fake businesses. The indictment alleges Andiloro promised some of his victims their money would be invested in a marijuana dispensary business that doesn’t exist, and he would in turn give them a 10% stake in ownership.

However, Andiloro used the money to pay for his personal expenses, including a trip to Mexico. He allegedly also paid investors regularly to hide the scheme.

From April 2020 to March 2021, the indictment alleges Andiloro submitted applications for COVID-19 relief loans that were fraudulent. The loans, which were part of the Paycheck Protection Program, were supposed to go to businesses that were suffering due to the pandemic. But investigators believe Andiloro’s applications falsified information about his businesses, including “fake employment data and inflated revenues, costs, and payroll expenses.”

Andiloro received more than $2.6 million in PPP loans, the indictment alleges, which he used in his personal life and to make Ponzi-style payments.

The grand jury believes nearly $4.5 million should be forfeited in the case, which they said is the amount involved in the alleged crimes. They also said up to around $114,000 should be forfeited from a bank account one investor sent money to.

Earlier investigation

Andiloro was at the center of a Channel 9 investigation nearly a decade ago. He was providing security for several restaurants in the Charlotte area, but faced charges in 2014 after state agents discovered he didn’t have a license to run a security company.

State Alcohol Law Enforcement agents said Andiloro had run his business, Professional Security Solutions in Mooresville, for several years without a state license from the Private Protective Security Board.

The company had a contract with Buffalo Wild Wings when agents arrested him and five of his armed guards in May 2014 and took away their guns. He was charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretense and one count of operating a security company without the proper licenses.

(WATCH RELATED: Officials: Man not licensed to run security company)

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