Owasso Man Convicted of Applying for Paycheck Protection Loans Under False Prints | USAO-NDOK

An Owasso man who fraudulently applied for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was convicted Thursday by a federal jury.

“A jury has found Olusola Ojo guilty of all paycheck protection program bank fraud conspiracy charges. He has been taken into custody pending conviction, ”Acting US Attorney Clint Johnson said. “Criminals need to understand that the embezzlement of taxpayer dollars intended to help struggling small businesses survive during the pandemic will be fully investigated and prosecuted. The Federal Reserve, Small Business Administration and FBI agents are to be commended for their work in this matter. “

Olusola Ojo, also known as Sam Ojo, 42, was convicted of bank fraud conspiracy, two counts bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft. He will be sentenced on April 1, 2022.

Ojo, along with two accomplices, created 12 fictitious business entities that would fraudulently apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans under false pretenses such as number of employees, salary expenses, taxes paid in previous months, details of the company’s ownership and a misrepresentation of their relationship to each other. Meanwhile, Ibanga Etuk, Teosha Etuk and Ojo submitted multiple claims for the same companies to more than ten different banks, without revealing to those banks that they were submitting duplicate claims. They conspired to obtain loans totaling approximately $ 5,430,585 and in fact obtained financing from banks totaling approximately $ 995,385.

As part of the conspiracy, Ojo knowingly applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from Frontier State Bank under false pretenses from April 20, 2020 to April 29, 2020. The defendant lied about the number of people employed during the course. previous months of deemed operation, salary expenses in previous months, taxes paid in previous months of operation, business ownership and relationships between the parties in a $ 300,000 loan application submitted for Quick Selling Marketplace, Inc.

From May 8, 2020 to May 11, 2020, Ojo also applied for a loan of $ 150,000 under the Stride Bank Paycheck Protection Program, submitted under false pretenses to Inspired Group LLC.

As part of his crimes, Ojo used the identity of another person on payroll records passed to banks when applying for loans.

“This conviction sends a clear message that those who defraud the federal government with pandemic relief funds will be held accountable and brought to justice for their actions,” said Cory Nootnagel, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Western Region , Office of the Inspector General of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Office of Consumer Financial Protection. “I commend our officers and their federal law enforcement partners for their hard work and persistence, which ultimately led to this conviction.”

“The FBI hopes this conviction sends a clear message that individuals who attempt to steal taxpayer money meant to help people and businesses in need during a national crisis will be held accountable,” said Alvin M. Winston, acting special agent in charge of the FBI Oklahoma. City. “We thank our partners for their work in this investigation and the US Attorney’s Office for the success of the prosecution.”

Ojo’s two co-defendants had already pleaded guilty and had been convicted.

Ibanga Etuk, 41, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a total of four years in federal prison – two years for bank fraud and two years for aggravated identity theft. He was also ordered to pay $ 168,000 in restitution to the Chickasaw Community Bank.

Teosha Etuk, 33, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay compensation in the amount of $ 150,000 to First Liberty Bank.

The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Office of Consumer Financial Protection Office of the Inspector General; Office of the Inspector General of Small Business Administration; and the FBI investigated. Assistant US prosecutors Kristin Harrington, Victor AS Régal and David D. Whipple are continuing the case.

To learn more about the Department of Justice’s COVID response, visit: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. For more information on the Criminal Division’s enforcement efforts on PPP fraud, including significant case court documents, visit the following website: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud / ppp-fraud.

To report a COVID-19 fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or through the NCDF online complaint form at ‘address: https: // www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-for

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