Michael C. Moller couldn’t kick his scamming habits—even when he was put behind bars.
According to Insider, the 42-year-old Rhode Island man was accused of swindling his fellow inmates while awaiting sentencing for a federal fraud scheme stemming from 2020. Prosecutors say the incarcerated Moller had posed as an attorney while locked up at the Wyatt Detention Center, where he convinced two prisoners to pay him for legal services. The inmates told authorities they collectively paid Moller more than $17,000 after he promised to “assist them in their criminal and immigration cases.”
One claimed he had his wife give $5,000 to Moller’s girlfriend, while the other reportedly directed a friend to deliver $12,000. Prosecutors say a portion of that money was transferred to Moller’s commissary account, while the rest was spent on marijuana and gambling.
Moller was previously sentenced to 108 months in prison for carrying out a series of bank robberies while on home confinement for an earlier tax fraud conviction. While on supervised release last year, the man was charged with defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program, which aimed to help small businesses stay afloat amid the pandemic. Moller is accused of filing nearly a dozen fraudulent loan applications totaling more than $4 million. According to the Department of Justice, he ultimately received $599,251 from those loans, which he submitted under his name, as well as the names of his relatives and girlfriend’s son.
Prosecutors say the convict’s actions show he “is simply incapable of stopping himself from defrauding others.”
Prosecutors continued, “During a period in which one would imagine that Moller would be on his best behavior in an effort to convince the Court that he was remorseful for his prior conduct, he did the exact opposite by orchestrating yet another scheme to defraud people with whom he came in contact.”
Although prosecutors requested a 99-month prison sentence for Moller, he was given a total of 82 months and one day in federal prison, followed by the years of federal supervised release. The court also ordered him to pay nearly $600,000 in restitution.