ANDOVER — A businessman with local ties who allegedly faked his own death to avoid prosecution for federal loan fraud has been captured, authorities confirmed Monday. 

David A. Staveley, who also goes by Kurt Sanborn, was captured last week in Georgia, according to a statement from the U.S. Marshals Service.

Staveley, who has ties to Andover and Dracut, sought nearly $440,000 in federal loans provided during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic claiming that he needed to pay dozens of employees at three restaurants he owned, federal prosecutors in Rhode Island said when the charges were brought in May.

But two of the restaurants weren’t open before the pandemic began and had no employees, and he didn’t have any connection to the third, according to court papers. 

Staveley had been released to home confinement, but on May 26, he removed his GPS monitor and disappeared, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

Authorities said his vehicle was found in June near a beach in Quincy, Mass. The vehicle was unlocked with the key in the ignition, and his wallet, credit cards, driver’s license and a suicide note were found in the car, authorities said.

But no evidence was found that he had taken his own life, and marshals concluded that Staveley faked his death and fled to avoid prosecution.

Staveley fled first to Tennessee and then to Georgia, where authorities determined he was using a false identity and driving a vehicle with stolen plates, and he was arrested Thursday in Alpharetta, Georgia, according to the marshals service.  

At the time of his arrest, he had multiple forms of identification and ID badges bearing different names, authorities said.

He is expected to appear in court in Georgia at an undetermined date, authorities said.

An email seeking comment was left Monday with Staveley’s attorney.

This spring, following his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island, Staveley was released on an unsecured bond of $10,000 and his travel was restricted to Massachusetts or Rhode Island for court purposes or meetings with his attorney.

Staveley is also not allowed to obtain a passport or other travel documents while the case is pending.

And, per court order, Staveley was ordered to live in Dracut with a person whose name was redacted in federal court records. He had previously listed an Andover address.

He is also not allowed to carry a firearm or other weapon while the criminal case is pending.

If convicted on the federal fraud charges, he faces a maximum sentence of five to 30 years in federal prison and fines of $250,000, according to court records.

Federal court records show that in 2018 Staveley changed his name from Kurt Sanborn "citing religious reasons."

In May, Staveley and David Butziger, 51, of Warwick, Rhode Island, were the "first in the nation" to be charged with federal loan crimes.

Staveley and Butziger were charged with “conspiring to seek forgivable loans guaranteed by the (Small Business Administration), claiming to have dozens of employees earning wages at four different business entities when, in fact, there were no employees working for any of the businesses,” authorities said.

In December 2015, Kurt Sanborn, then 48, formerly of Dracut, was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison in a bank fraud case in Concord, New Hampshire, according to records.

Also, Sanborn was previously charged with harassing a woman he was dating in Wayland.

Additionally he pleaded guilty to stealing $284,000 from Diamond Action Inc., the company that owns the Lowell Spinners baseball team, according to published reports.

Staveley also previously used the name of his brother, Gregg Sanborn, according to the federal court records.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story. 

Follow staff reporter Jill Harmacinski on Twitter @EagleTribJill.



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