Casey Crowther, the owner of Target Roofing & Sheet Metal, was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to three years and one month in federal prison. After time served, he’ll receive 36 months of supervised release.
He was convicted of misuse of the federal Paycheck Protection Program that was set up to help businesses keep employees employed during the pandemic. He must pay back more than $2 million he owes for the loan in restitution.
A jury found Crowther guilty of bank fraud and money laundering but he is expected to plead his case for a lighter sentence.
The government-backed money was meant to keep businesses afloat and to keep their employees on the payroll, not for owners like Crowther to spend on themselves.
Before the sentencing, Crowther’s attorneys wanted the federal judge to get to know the “devoted father of three, loving husband and valued member of the Fort Myers community.” This is how Crowther is being described in pre-sentencing documents.
“Casey essentially raised himself and started roofing when he was just 15 years old to assist with supporting the family.”
His lawyers argued that Crowther supported the community around him.
Through his attorneys, Crowther was able to acknowledge his mistakes. “He deeply regrets buying the boat and is extremely remorseful for the devastating consequences his actions had on his family and his business,” they said.
For altering the bank records, Crowther expressed his “sincere remorse, embarrassment, and regret for making poor decisions.”
His attorney told the court that Crowther has already paid a hefty price for his poor decisions. Target Roofing now operates from the barn in his backyard. Crowther sold the building and property along Ortiz Avenue to pay back his PPP loan.
Crowther appeared somber after the sentencing.
Crowther said he failed his family and employees.
His family held onto one another after the sentencing.
“One of the most difficult things I’ve ever felt in my life is the pain that I’ve caused some of these people, specifically some of the employees at Target Roofing, who have made Target Roofing what it is,” Crowther said.
Those employees supported Crowther during his trial, showing up in their red polos. Crowther swore he supported them right back and vowed to take care of his customers, too.
Crowther has a month to get his business together before going to prison.
“They know I’ve made some mistakes but I think that makes me human and I think they can empathize with that, at least I hope. I don’t know that I always deserve their support but I really do appreciate everything they’ve given to me,” Crowther said.