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Company owner charged with falsifying federal records, fraud

August 2, 2019

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The owner of a Rhode Island automobile transport company has been charged with falsifying federal records, fraud, identity theft and tax evasion.

Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman says 39-year-old Michael Chaves, of East Providence-based CAT Inc., was arraigned in federal court in Providence on Friday. His bond was set at $100,000.

Chaves’ attorney didn’t immediately return phone or email messages Friday.

Weisman says Chaves is accused of attempting to influence and impede inspections of his business by falsifying U.S. Department of Transportation records, and of using someone else’s personal identifying information to continue operating after being ordered to shut down for safety violations.

Weisman says Chaves is also charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $400,000 from banks and credit unions, and taking numerous steps to avoid paying personal income taxes.

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