Trinity man accused of fraudulently taking more than $400,000 in COVID-19 relief funds

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TRINITY, N.C. –A Trinity man faces charges after allegedly lying to get more than $400,000 in COVID-19 relief, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

David Christopher Redfern, 31, of Trinity, was charged by criminal complaint filed in the Middle District of North Carolina with one county of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

He was arrested Tuesday morning.

According to the complaint, Redfern formed the company Wilder Effects LLC in January. Under that company, he applied for two Economic Injury Disaster Loans and a Paycheck Protection Program loan between April and June.

Redfern allegedly falsified documents to support his application. He is accused of including a fake IRS filing of Wilder Effects’ Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return for the first quarter of 2020. The document said that Wilder Effects paid wages to 20 employees, but the IRS does not have any such filing.

The complaint also claims that Redfern received more than $414,000, which he then transferred to his personal bank account.

Investigators were able to freeze the Wilder Effects bank account and recover about $402,000.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud hotline by phone at 1-866-720-5721 or via an online reporting form available on the USDOJ website.

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