Ill-Fated IndyCar Grand Prix Boston CFO Pleads Guilty to Fraud, Money Laundering

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The final chapter in the now five-year saga of the failed 2016 Boston IndyCar Grand Prix race ended this week for the event’s CFO.

Former Boston IndyCar Grand Prix Race Finance Director John F. Casey, 57, pleaded guilty Thursday in Massachusetts to 23 counts of wire fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft, four counts of money laundering and three counts of filing false income tax returns.

The conviction is scheduled for February 15, 2022. Casey was indicted in September 2020. Some of the charges related to money paid to Casey for work on the IndyCar race originally scheduled on the streets of Boston over the weekend of Labor Day in 2016.

The Boston IndyCar event was canceled in April of the same year, just five months before scheduled race day, for what organizers said was a litany of issues, including disgruntled local residents and poor ticket sales. . Residents complained about traffic and business disruptions on streets affected by the race. The organizers gave up the fight and finally filed for bankruptcy in July 2016.

Turns out, the Boston Grand Prix wasn’t Casey’s only problem.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts released the decision on its website on Thursday in a statement. According to the Department of Justice, Casey, who became CFO of the Boston IndyCar event in January 2015, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Boston in connection with several schemes to defraud equipment and companies. small business financing as well as the Small Business Administration. (SBA) and the Internal Revenue Service.

John Casey, left, and IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud at a promotional event for the ill-fated IndyCar race of the 2016 Boston Grand Prix.

Paul MarottaGetty Images

According to the DOJ, the Boston Grand Prix organization made payments to or on behalf of Casey totaling approximately $ 308,292 in 2015 and $ 601,073 in 2016, which Casey did not include in income. gross that he reported on his personal income tax returns for those years.

Casey also owned an ice rink in Peabody, Mass., From October 2013 until he sold it in June 2016. Between October 2014 and October 2016, Casey raised over $ 743,000 in funding from fundraising companies. equipment, allegedly for the purchase of ice equipment. ice skating rink. Casey, however, no longer owned the rink for four months during that time.

Casey’s series of questionable trade deals did not end there. Between March 2020 and at least May 2021, the DOJ said Casey orchestrated a scheme to fraudulently obtain economic disaster loans and paycheck protection program loans. And in January 2021, while awaiting trial for the fundraising fraud scheme, Casey submitted a $ 70,000 pandemic grant application to the Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation containing false information about the company’s operating expenses. a business that was not in operation in 2019 or 2020.

Between April 2020 and April 2021, approximately $ 676,552 in COVID-19 relief funds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Casey.

DOJ says Casey used the vast majority of funds for personal expenses, including a three-karat diamond ring, six-month Match.com membership, private school tuition, rent payments residential, living expenses, personal credit card payments. accounts, restaurant meals, car payments and luxury hotel stays.

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