Former West Virginia House candidate sentenced for COVID fraud

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:41 PM EDT
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WHEELING, W.Va (WDTV) - A former West Virginia House of Delegates candidate was sentenced on Wednesday for fraudulently obtaining loans made available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

27-year-old Dalton Haas, of Wheeling, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February and was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 months behind bars, according to federal authorities.

Authorities say Haas admitted to making false statements about the gross revenues, the cost of goods sold, and the number of employees for the Lebanese Restaurant & Bakery, the Wheeling Wine Festival, the West Virginia Hockey League, and the Wheeling Hockey Association.

Haas obtained a total of $20,000 in CARES Act funding as part of his scheme, authorities say. He attempted to fraudulently obtain loans on three other occasions but was unsuccessful.

Upon his release from prison, Haas will be under the supervision of federal probation officers for three years. Haas paid restitution in full prior to sentencing.

Haas is a former House of Delegates candidate for District 3.

The United States Sentencing Guidelines called for a range of punishment for Haas of between 4 and 10 months, based upon the amount of loss and his criminal history. The sentence imposed was at the highest end of the Guidelines, authorities say.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Conklin prosecuted the case on behalf of the government.

U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey presided over the case.

Anyone who is aware of COVID fraud may report it via email, by telephone to 304-234-0100, or via regular mail to the U.S. Attorney, P.O. Box 591, Wheeling, WV 26003, Attn: COVID Fraud Unit.