A Mississippi man was arrested on Thursday, accused of spending COVID-19 small business loans on a variety of luxury items, including a $100,000 Tesla and a $1 million home, federal prosecutors said.
Christopher Paul Lick, of Starkville, got $6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds by filing false and fraudulent loan applications with banks, according to court documents cited in a news release by the US Attorney’s Office of Northern Mississippi on Friday.
Lick lied about the number of people his businesses employed, and his expenses, the documents said.
As well as the Tesla and million-dollar home, Lick invested some of the money in the stock market, the documents said.
He had been indicted by a federal grand jury before his arrest, the Department of Justice (DoJ) said.
The 45-year-old is charged with four counts of wire fraud, one count of false statements to a financial institution, and eleven counts of money laundering, according to the DoJ. He faces up to 30 years in federal prison if he’s convicted.
On Saturday, Lick pleaded not guilty to the 16 counts.
PPP loans were designed to help small businesses pay their staff, rent, and mortgage costs to help keep them afloat during the pandemic. Insider previously reported that the majority of borrowers can receive up to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll costs, but that loans can’t exceed $2 million.
The White House initially launched the program in April 2020, but the $349 billion funding ran out in two weeks. Congress approved another $320 billion in May, and the program stopped in August with around $130 billion in unused funds.
Police are looking for a YouTube creator who entered SpaceX’s launch site in South Texas and filmed close-up videos of SpaceX’s SN11 Starship rocket.
In late March, Caesar L. Galaviz got into the Boca Chica base of Elon Musk’s aerospace company without any security stopping him. He filmed himself wandering around the launch site and walking underneath the 16-story-tall prototype Starship. He then uploaded the video to his YouTube channel, which is called Loco VlogS.
Sheriff Eric Garza of Cameron County tweeted on Monday that police had issued an arrest warrant for Galaviz “for intentionally going onto the SpaceX property without their consent.”
Garza said Galaviz’s last known location was Conroe, Texas.
Galaviz later deleted the video, which got five likes and 100 dislikes, but another YouTube account reuploaded the recording on March 31.
Galaviz posted an apology video on April 1, saying his actions were “wrong” and “illegal.”
“In my eyes, in that time of moment, I didn’t really think about that,” he said.
Galaviz told Insider in April that he entered the premises because he thought it would make a good video for his YouTube subscribers. “I hope that the SpaceX community can forgive me for my actions,” he said.
A couple from North Texas was arrested Wednesday on charges related to the siege at the US Capitol on January 6, when a mob of Donald Trump’s supporters breached the building to disrupt the certification of the election.
In a criminal complaint, the Federal Bureau of Investigations said Mark and Jalise Middleton of Forestburg were captured on footage from body cameras worn by police that showed them assaulting two Metropolitan Police Department officers who were guarding the Capitol.
They are facing charges that include assaulting police officers and remaining on restricted grounds, though they did not appear to have entered the building.
The footage shows the police officers struggling against rioters who are pushing against a barricade and trying to break the police line, ignoring commands from officers to step back, the complaint said.
One man wearing a Trump beanie, later identified as Mark Middleton, 51, pushes against the officers and the barricade with his body. When officers repeatedly instructed Middleton to get back, he yelled “f— you!” and continued to push. At one point, he grabs one of the officers and attempts to pull him forward.
Beside Mark, a woman wearing a Trump 2020 beanie, later identified as Jalise Middleton, 50, also grabbed at the officer with her hands, the complaint said. When another officer stepped in, Jalise Middleton struck him too.
The Middletons continued to strike the officers and jab flagpoles at their faces until one officer deployed a chemical spray, forcing them to retreat.
After receiving a tip, the FBI examined photos and videos the Middletons had shared on Facebook.
“We are on the front lines. We helped push down the barriers. Jalise and I got pepper sprayed, clubbed, and tear gassed. We had to retreat, but more patriots pushed forward, and they’re taking back our house,” Mark Middleton said in a video shared to his personal account, the complaint said.
“Do not believe the news media, we’re not rioters or mobs,” he said in a separate comment. “We’ve been the ones supporting the police, backing the police, but this is how we’re being treated?”
Jalise Middleton made incriminating posts on her Facebook page too.
“We fought the cops to get in the Capital and got pepper sprayed and beat but by gosh the patriots got in!” she said. When someone asked why they fought the cops, she replied: “To get in the Capital to send them bastards a clear message that this won’t be tolerated.”
The complaint said Jalise Middleton deleted the above post days after making them.
A New Jersey man accused of “repeatedly assaulting multiple law enforcement officers” during the January 6 Capitol insurrection has been arrested and charged in relation to his participation in the attack, months after his internet search history suggests he was worrying about that very outcome.
Christopher Joseph Quaglin was arrested Wednesday on charges of assaulting, resisting, or impeding certain officers or employees, civil disorder, and obstruction of official proceeding, according to the US Justice Department.
Quaglin appeared virtually in federal court Wednesday where a judge decided to release him on house arrest, according to NJ.com.
In court documents, authorities say Quaglin participated in the Capitol siege in Washington, DC, where he helped lead the charge into the building and assaulted numerous officers during the process, including attacking authorities with a stolen riot guard and spraying a “chemical irritant” at officers trying to stop the break-in.
Dressed in a red, white, and blue shirt, a black helmet with a camera attached, and a gas mask, Quaglin was easily identifiable in video footage from that day, which authorities say shows Quaglin assaulting both Capitol police officers and Metropolitan Police Department officers multiple times in various locations throughout the afternoon.
Before rioters breached the building, Quaglin can be seen on officer body worn camera footage approaching the police line separated by a fence and starting to engage with officers “seemingly unprovoked,” court documents said.
“You don’t want this fight. You do not want this f—ing fight. You are on the wrong f—ing side. You’re going to bring a f—ing pistol, I’m going to bring a f—ing cannon,” Quaglin reportedly said. “You wait! Stay there like a f—ing sheep! This guy doesn’t know what the f— is going on.”
In another video, Quaglin can be seen shoving an officer holding the perimeter, documents said. Surveillance footage reportedly shows Quaglin engaging with an officer while appearing “increasingly agitated and pointing his finger,” before proceeding to “hold and push” the officer by the neck, which appears to contribute to the officer starting to fall.
Court documents say additional video footage shows Quaglin physically pushing at least five different officers during the chaos of the break-in.
Quaglin is also accused of spraying a chemical irritant at officers who were trying to stop the rioters from entering the Capitol, court documents say.
After the insurrection, law enforcement agents say they received a tip from an anonymous source who provided Facebook Live videos of the riot from Quaglin’s Facebook account, which was named “Chris Trump.”
The witness told authorities that Quaglin frequently posted on his social media accounts about the 2020 Presidential election and about going to the Capitol on January 6. According to legal records, many of Quaglin’s posts from the Capitol were deleted on January 7.
But that didn’t stop Quaglin from publicly planning his involvement prior to the attack or boasting about it immediately following the event.
In the aftermath of Joe Biden’s November victory, Quaglin reportedly sent a slew of Facebook messages to other accounts hinting at his eventual involvement in the attack.
“I’m going to war…I’m writing my letter to my wife and people will have it…But I might not even make it back,” Quaglin reportedly wrote on Facebook in November. “It’s over…I’m fighting if not…like on the streets in dc. Full body armor.”
In a video taken from his hotel room following the January attack, authorities say Quaglin said: “I’ve been pepper sprayed like twenty f—ing times, I’m sure I’m going to make the news.”
Authorities investigated Quaglin’s Google account history after the riot and found a search for “guy gets bear sprayed at capital” made on January 8. On January 20, his history shows visits to a web page titled, “Countries where you can buy citizenship, residency, or passport.”
And between January 28 and January 31, Quaglin’s account history shows eight total visits to the FBI’s “seeking information” for Capitol violence webpage.
A 38-year-old apparent Trump superfan, identified on camera as a suspect in the assault of a police officer during the Capitol insurrection on January 6, was arrested Wednesday.
Daniel Joseph Rodriguez, a California man accused of being part of a mob that swarmed DC Metropolitan Police Officer Mike Fanone during the riot, was arrested in Fontana, California, and indicted on eight counts, according to court documents.
Fanone suffered a mild heart attack during the attack and said he pleaded for his life when a crowd of rioters began to chant, “Kill him with his own gun!” The father of four told media outlets he was shocked with a stun gun during the siege and spent a day-and-a-half in the hospital recovering.
The Department of Justice indictment of Rodriguez filed last week said he used a “deadly and dangerous weapon, specifically an electroshock weapon, and inflicted bodily injury on MF.”
In video obtained by online sleuthing group Deep State Dogs, a man suspected to be Rodriguez can be seen sticking a small black device into Fanone’s neck, which causes the officer to fall to the ground. As the video continues, the suspect, identifiable by his baseball hat and glasses, attempts to breach the Capitol.
A HuffPost investigation published last month reported Rodriguez’s identity and included interviews with witnesses who said they had encountered Rodriguez at Trump rallies in Beverly Hills prior to the insurrection. The outlet reported that Rodriguez is a well-known Trump fanatic, known to supporters throughout the Los Angeles area.
According to HuffPost, the FBI received tips about Rodriguez in January, including one from a man who said Rodriguez had assaulted him on video at a previous rally. But the outlet said it wasn’t until HuffPost reached out to the agency in late February with questions about Rodriguez, that the previous man heard from a bureau agent regarding Rodriguez.
Earlier this month, a New York man was also arrested in connection with the assault on Fanone. Thomas Sibick was arrested on charges including obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, taking a thing of value by force or intimidation, and assaulting or impeding officers.
Sibick was identified as a suspect in Fanone’s attack thanks to video captured by a body camera the officer was wearing, according to court documents. The criminal complaint says Sibick pulled out “objects consistent with an MPD badge and police radio. The legal documents say Sibick admitted to grabbing the officer’s badge and radio, claiming he had reached in to the mob to try and help the officer.
After initially denying his participation in the insurrection, Sibick later admitted to burying Fanone’s police badge in his backyard.
Rodriguez faces eight charges, including obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, assaulting, impeding, or resisting certain officers, theft of government property, destruction of government property, entering and remaining in restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, disorderly and disruptive conduct in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon, and impeding ingress and egress in a restricted building or grounds with a deadly or dangerous weapon.
A Pennsylvania police officer was arrested and charged for his alleged involvement in the Capitol riot after he posted a video of himself rushing a line of police officers on Facebook, a criminal complaint said.
The United States District Court in the District of Colombia charged Joseph Fischer, a patrolman at North Cornwall Township Police Department, with obstruction of law enforcement during civil disorder, knowingly entering or remaining in any restricted building or grounds without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds, and obstruction of Justice/Congress.
On the day following the attack, Fischer allegedly posted a video on a Facebook account under the name ‘SV Spindrift’ that showed him charging into the Capitol. Authorities requested information on the account from Facebook and were able to determine that it belonged to Fischer, the complaint said.
In the less than three-minute video, he allegedly yelled “Charge,” as well as “Hold the Line” and “Motherf–kers.” The complaint also said he had a “physical encounter” with at least one police officer.
In a comment on that same day, Fischer also allegedly wrote: “there was some minor destruction and a few things were stolen … but 98% peaceful.. I was there..we pushed police back about 25 feet. Got pepper balled and OC sprayed, but entry into the Capital was needed to send a message that we the people hold the real power.”
In a message exchange with another user, Fischer also allegedly said that “word got out” that he was at the rally and that he may “need a job,” adding that his chief had spoken with him.
North Cornwall Township Police Department did not reply to Insider’s request at the time of publication but in a statement to WGAL said: “no township official had any knowledge of this individual’s actions prior to his arrest.”
Fischer allegedly said that he told his chief, “if that is the price I have to pay to voice my freedom and liberties which I was born with and thusly taken away then then must be the price…,” according to the criminal complaint.
He is currently suspended without pay, WGAL reported. The criminal complaint also alleges that Fischer told the chief, “I have no regrets and give zero s–ts.”
“Neither the Township nor any officer or employee endorses, accepts, or condones any alleged participation in a crime against the United States of America nor any act committed by an individual who may have illegally breached the United States Capitol on January 06, 2021,” the department told WGAL.
A man who stormed the US Capitol building during the January 6 insurrection expressed doubt that he would be arrested for participating in the insurrection – before being arrested days later, according to prosecutors.
“How are they going to arrest every single person?” Andrew Williams said in a video taken while he was entering the Capitol’s rotunda, according to a sworn FBI affidavit.
“We are storming the Capitol! Yeah baby!” Williams also said while storming the Capitol, according to the affidavit.
Williams was arrested on January 13 at his home in Maitland, Florida, according to court records reviewed by Insider, on charges of disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and unlawful entry of a restricted building. A judge set his bond at $25,000.
Williams, a firefighter employed by the Sanford, Florida, police department, was identified after a law enforcement officer saw he posted a photo of himself in the Capitol building online, according to the affidavit. The officer informed the FBI about Sanford’s activities, which were chronicled in photos and videos obtained by federal law enforcement officials.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Thursday that 200 people have been identified following their participation in the Capitol riots. Several of them are public servants, including police officers, teachers, and firefighters.
Videos obtained by the FBI show Williams commenting on the architecture of the Capitol as he invaded it.
“Taking it back baby,” he said. “We are inside the Capitol,” adding: “This looks nice. This is really nice.”
Many of the people who participated in the Capitol building riots posted about it on social media. Republican West Virginia lawmaker Derrick Evans, who later resigned, said “We’re in! We’re in! Derrick Evans is in the Capitol!” in a social media livestream.
Others, including Kevin Loftus and Aaron Mostofsky, bragged to acquaintances about being in the building in private messages later obtained by federal law enforcement officials.
The Proud Boys chairman has been banned from Washington, DC, ahead of this week’s pro-Trump rally.
Henry “Enrique” Tarrio was arrested Monday night on a destruction of property warrant stemming from a mid-December protest that involved the burning of a Black Lives Matter banner belonging to a historically Black church in the nation’s capital
When Tarrio was taken into custody, police found two high-powered magazines branded with the Proud Boys logo in his bag, according to DC Superior Court documents viewed by Insider.
The devices were unloaded, and Tarrio told law enforcement he intended to sell them to someone he was meeting in DC at the rally.
Tarrio pleaded not guilty to destruction of property and possession of a high-capacity ammunition feeding device charges Tuesday afternoon from his holding cell at the metro police station.
Magistrate Judge Renee Raymond ordered Tarrio, who was held overnight, to be released on the condition that he stay out of the District of Columbia.
Raymond said she was imposing the condition because Tarrio recently posted a meme on the encrypted chat platform Parler indicating he would burn another Black Lives Matter flag.
The Proud Boys leader also posted about burning the church’s banner on social media.
The flag burning took place during the Dec. 12 Trump rally, for which Tarrio previously told Insider he was overseeing security.
Tarrio, who is Cuban-American, has maintained to Insider that Proud Boys – a recognized hate group linked to street fights and violence around the US – is not racist or white supremacists by nature, while recognizing that some members hold those beliefs.
“Given there are a lot of Black Lives Matter placards, banners, and alike in the District of Columbia, this will be the least restrictive condition” of release, Judge Raymond said.
At the time of his arrest, Tarrio was arriving ahead of a pro-Trump rally planned to take place in the city this week. The demonstration is intended to coincide with Congress formalizing the presidential election results on Wednesday.
Donald Trump, who continues to fuel conspiracy theories that President-elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory was fraudulent, recently tweeted that the rally would be “wild.”
The National Guard has been activated to handle crowd control this week.