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St. Louis County officials release subpoenas in federal COVID funding fraud investigation

Former county employee Tony Weaver was fired after fraud charges were announced against him.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Louis County counselor has released subpoenas in the federal probe of former county jail employee, Anthony “Tony” Weaver.

Weaver was fired after federal fraud charges were announced against him earlier this month. He's accused of trying to rig applications for federal COVID funds for businesses.

FBI officials said they caught Weaver urging a business owner to lie and say his company was closed down, so he'd qualify for federal COVID relief funds.

St. Louis County Counselor Beth Orwick released subpoenas the county received as part of that federal investigation. The three subpoenas sought information on 14 businesses that applied for a grant through the county's Small Business Relief Program, set up early in the pandemic to provide financial assistance.

Businesses named in the subpoenas include laundromats and supermarkets near Country Club Hills, restaurants and businesses on West Florissant Avenue, North Florissant and South Florissant, and one in Hazelwood.

“There are situations where the correct legal and policy decision is to close records because disclosure could have adverse effects, including where disclosures would interfere with federal grand jury investigations,” said Orwick, in a statement from county officials. “It is necessary to be thoughtful and deliberate about balancing the various legal and policy considerations in these situations because once a subpoena is disclosed, we cannot undo the decision.”

Of the 14 businesses, five received a $15,000 grant, the maximum awarded per business. The other nine did not supply the required documentation to support their applications.

The businesses that received grants were:

  • Midwestern Construction and Development
  • Kathy’s Bissell Lounge
  • The Fletcher Company LLC
  • Building Systems Technologies 
  • J&L Enterprises

St. Louis County officials said they hired an accounting firm, a law firm and an auditing firm to set up and monitor the small business grant program and review spending to meet U.S. Treasury guidelines.

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