Former St. Louis County official pleads guilty to COVID-19 funding scam
ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) -- Tony Weaver, a former top official at the St. Louis County Jail, pleaded guilty in federal court to defrauding the county through a Small Businesses Relief (SBR) Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Charges alleged Weaver met with a man who owns several small businesses in St. Louis County and told him about the SBR grant program. The indictment says Weaver then told the man he could receive the maximum of $15,000 per business for six of his businesses through the program. The federal government provided funds to St. Louis County in 2020 to disperse to small businesses that lost money due to the pandemic.
According to federal documents, Weaver told the businessman, who is referred to in court documents as “John Smith,” that his former boss on the council requested to know the names of Smith’s businesses before a final decision was made. His boss is identified as “Jane Doe” in the documents.
In a conversation with Smith, Weaver reportedly said that Doe’s office is “going to do what I tell them to do.”
Weaver was indicted on May 25, 2022, on four felony counts of wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to all four counts Friday.
Weaver, who was appointed as a jail official by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, was fired by Page after his indictment. Doug Moore, a spokesperson for the county executive, said in a statement after Weaver’s firing that the indictment was not related to his work at the county jail.
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