Business associate of ex-Alabama sheriff charged with wire fraud

Two days after a former Alabama sheriff pleaded guilty to lying on loan applications to obtain gambling debt funds, his business partner has been indicted federally on wire fraud charges for allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program.

Danny Lee Beard, Jr., a business partner of former Clark County Sheriff William “Ray” Norris, founded Haddco, LLC – a company that buys, sells, trades and services vehicles and equipment – in 2011 and was initially seized in May by Indicted on nine counts of making false statements to federal insurance agencies related to PPP and other loans.

On Wednesday, some of Beard’s charges were replaced by wire fraud, according to a substitute indictment filed in federal court in Mobile.

Prosecutors charged Beard with lying on two PPP loan applications, worth $74,207 each, that he was paying payroll taxes for all employees.

In the second loan, Beard allegedly used the funds for “personal expenses unrelated to payroll costs, rent/mortgage interest, utilities and operating expenses.”

Beard also completed a forgiveness application for the first PPP loan, which was “fraudulently obtained,” the indictment said.

Norris’ business partner also allegedly lied that he owned a piece of equipment and that he was not trying to sell the tractor retailer when he took out a business loan of more than $50,000 from Camden-based Town County National Bank.

Norris, a former Clark County sheriff who was federally charged with four crimes in the Southern District of Alabama earlier this year, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of making a false statement to a federal insurance agency.

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