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Las Vegas race car driver in murder-for-hire plot accused of COVID fraud

A local race car driver targeted in a murder-for-hire plot last year is now accused of fraudulently obtaining more than $900,000 in COVID-19 relief loans.

In January 2022, Metropolitan Police Department officers were investigating a robbery targeting Jeffrey Schildmeyer, in which the perpetrator was later convicted of attempting to hire someone to kill Schildmeyer.

But while police investigated, they also found that Schildmeyer had used fictitious shell companies to apply for multiple loans under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program meant to help struggling small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to an arrest report.

“Schildmeyer created these businesses with the intention of defrauding the Small Business Administration to obtain funds for his extracurricular activities without regard to the consequences clearly outlined in the declaration he signed,” an officer wrote in the arrest report.

He is accused of fraudulently obtaining $910,000 in loans for six business that investigators believe do not exist, the report said.

Schildmeyer, 55, was arrested Wednesday on felony charges of perjury, money laundering and theft of $100,000 or more, court records show.

Investigators determined that the six businesses did not have a physical or online presence, and were organized or incorporated within a month of Schildmeyer applying for loans. In the applications, Schildmeyer claimed the businesses were for real estate or management services, but he did not have any real estate or property management licenses, the report said.

Investigators also accused Schildmeyer of money laundering by moving funds from the loans through different accounts, which “gave the appearance that the funds might be part of ordinary business activity,” according to his arrest report.

In May, 43-year-old Arutyun Akopikyan pleaded guilty to robbery and soliciting a former inmate at the Clark County Detention Center to kill Schildmeyer, court records show.

The former inmate had testified that Akopikyan tried hiring him to kill Schildmeyer after the race car driver testified that Akopikyan stole $210 from him at gunpoint at his shop near the Las Vegas Speedway.

Akopikyan was sentenced in July to between three and 10 years in prison.

Schildmeyer was released from custody after posting bail in the money laundering case, court records show. He is scheduled to appear in court again on Oct. 11.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240.

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