A Las Vegas race car driver, who was targeted in a murder-for-hire scheme last year, now faces charges of theft and money laundering.
Who is Jeffrey Schildmeyer?
Jeffrey Schildmeyer, who is known for building and servicing race cars and participating in races, has been arrested by a Metro SWAT unit on Wednesday, September 6.
In January 2022, Metro police responded to a robbery with a deadly weapon at Jeffrey Schildmeyer Racing, during which Schildmeyer provided his phone number and home address to the police. While investigating this robbery, a financial intelligence analyst discovered that five businesses were linked to Schildmeyer’s home address. These businesses had received loans totaling over $1 million from the Small Business Administration under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program in August and September of 2020.
The federal loan program was established to offer economic relief to businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly those experiencing temporary revenue losses. However, an initial review of these businesses raised suspicions because they lacked a visible public presence on the internet or otherwise for sales and marketing purposes, which is typically common for legitimate businesses.
Further investigation revealed that Schildmeyer had allegedly submitted nine loan applications using nine different business names. These applications included his personal information, such as his name, phone number, and home address, among other identifiable details. Consequently, Schildmeyer is now facing charges of theft, money laundering, and perjury.
The loan documents revealed a total of nine loans, with Metro detectives initially discovering five of them. However, the charges against Schildmeyer specifically pertain to six businesses. Each of these businesses received loans of $150,000, claiming to have between one and ten employees each, according to the police.
What raised suspicion was the fact that all six businesses had been organized or incorporated within just one month of the loan application dates. None of them seemed to have any visible operations or business activity associated with them. Nevertheless, Schildmeyer had asserted that each of these businesses had earned more than $300,000 in gross revenue in the twelve months leading up to January 31, 2020.
Detectives further discovered that five of Schildmeyer’s bank accounts had been opened on the same day, and all of them less than 24 hours before each loan application was initiated online. In fact, five of these applications were all started within a remarkably short 18-minute time span.
Schildmeyer faces allegations of money laundering as he purportedly transferred the loan money among the six applicant businesses and a seventh company on at least three dozen occasions, as per the documents. In total, it is alleged that Schildmeyer obtained over $900,000 in government funds intended to assist struggling businesses during the pandemic.
In a separate development, in July, Arutyun Akopikyan pleaded guilty to robbery and solicitation to commit murder in connection with the 2022 incident at Schildmeyer’s racing business. Akopikyan, who had known Schildmeyer for several years, was involved in a dispute, the details of which Schildmeyer claimed not to know. During a grand jury hearing, an inmate who had met Akopikyan at the Clark County jail revealed that Akopikyan had approached him with an offer to pay for Schildmeyer’s murder. Akopikyan had also shared photos of Schildmeyer, his family, and his address with the inmate.
The inmate testified, “He actually wanted me to kidnap Jeff. The reason I had to kidnap Jeff was because they needed Jeff to open the phone instead of me just killing him. He wanted Jeff killed; that was the whole thing, to kill him, but the only way we can get the money was to kidnap him and get his phone.”
During a preliminary hearing in the criminal case, Schildmeyer described his shop as one that builds race cars and caters to racing needs. He referred to the case involving Akopikyan as a “murder for hire,” as indicated in grand jury transcripts.
Schildmeyer has posted bond and is scheduled to return to court in October. No attorney is listed for his case.