Two Minneapolis men accused of $1M fraud of COVID-19 program

Two Minneapolis business consultants are facing charges for allegedly defrauding COVID-19 aid programs out of more than $1 million.

Tezzaree El-Amin Champion and Marcus Alexander Hamilton, both 27, are accused of submitting fake invoices and applications for relief funds through their firm, Futuristic Management Group LLC. They allegedly scammed multiple federal, state, local, and private pandemic relief programs.

The pair reportedly used their contracts with Hennepin County's "Elevate Business" program to bill for work that wasn’t done or was already paid for by clients. They also submitted false applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) on behalf of their clients, pocketing some of the funds themselves.

Authorities also accuse Champion of intimidating clients, sometimes displaying a firearm in the process.

During a search of Champion’s home in April 2023, authorities found $126,000 in cash and a firearm. Because Champion has a prior felony conviction, he is prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition.

Champion and Hamilton face multiple counts of mail fraud, wire fraud, and theft of government money. Champion is also charged with possessing a firearm as a felon.