Former St. Louis County official gets 18-month sentence for COVID-19 funding scam

Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 12:31 PM CST
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ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV) -- Tony Weaver, a former top official at the St. Louis County Jail, was sentenced to 18 months in prison after pleading guilty in federal court to defrauding the county through a Small Businesses Relief (SBR) Program during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charges alleged Weaver approached a man who owned several small businesses in St. Louis County with a plan to fraudulently apply for grants from the SBR program in exchange for a share of the proceeds. The program used federal CARES Act money to help businesses cover costs during pandemic-related stay-at-home orders.

On January 26, Weaver was sentenced to 18 months in prison and was ordered to pay a $10,000 fine. Assistant U.S. Attorney Hal Goldsmith wrote in a sentencing memorandum, “Had the Defendant’s scheme been successful, it would have diverted much-needed grant funds from legitimate business applicants which actually had to close their doors and lay off employees during the pandemic.”

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Weaver was indicted on May 25, 2022, on four felony counts of wire fraud. He pleaded guilty to all four counts in October.

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.