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Three local women, including ex-mayoral hopeful Kelli Prather, charged with PPP fraud

New IdentityTheft Scam

Three Cincinnati women, including former mayoral hopeful Kelli Prather, received hundreds of thousands of dollars from federal pandemic relief funds after lying in their applications, according to federal prosecutors.

Prather, 48; Toni Wright, 34; and Melissa McGhee, 37, each stand charged with bank fraud in connection to their loan applications and could be sentenced to over 30 years in prison.

Prather applied for six Paycheck Protection Program loans — one for each of the six businesses she claimed to own: Enhanced Healthcare Solutions, Life Skills Enhancement, Prather Property Management, Reliable Ambulette Services, Rich Glo Management Services and Tots R Us.

She asked for $600,000 but only received $19,800, according to prosecutors.

According to court documents, Prather spent more than $8,000 on non-business expenses, at places like Kroger, Staples, Krispy Kreme, AAA Car Wash, and Park Place restaurant in Forest Park.

An ex-boyfriend told special agents Prather gave him a check for $8,000 for payment on a Madisonville house she bought previously then put in his name. It needed serious work and was not conducive to housing a business, he told investigators. The Kenwood Road address was used on the loan application for some of Prather’s businesses.

Prather stands charged with bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, making false statements, making false statements in connection to credit or loan applications and false representation of a social security number.

WCPO reached out to Prather for comment on Tuesday but did not hear back.

More WCPO 9 I-Team coverage of PPP loans:

The other two suspects got far bigger payouts.

McGhee submitted seven different pandemic relief applications and was granted three for a payout of $186,000. The money went into real estate and a mortgage, according to prosecutors.

She faces charges of bank fraud, committing fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits, wire fraud, making false statements and making false statements in connection to credit or loan applications.

Prosecutors wrote that Wright, the final local suspect, received $349,000 in fraudulent PPP loans after claiming to be the sole owner of three businesses: Poshedbar, Beautiful Beginnings Doula Service and Jerry’s Electronics.

She spent the money lavishly when she got it. According to prosecutors, Wright “claims she used the PPP funds for various personal purchases, such as to restaurants through DoorDash, retail establishments including Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Kay Jewelers and vacation activities like Kings Island, Luxury Rentals Miami, and American Airlines.”

At least $10,000 went to the cosmetic spa Sono Bello. Several thousand dollars was spent on what special agents called a “gambling spree” at local casinos.

She faces charges of bank fraud, committing fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits, wire fraud, making false statements and making false statements in connection to credit or loan applications.

A Dayton, Ohio, man – Jon Bader – is accused of registering his auto business in June 2020, well after the eligibility cutoff for the loans. He is accused of lying on his application and receiving more than $120,000.

Court documents allege Bader spent up to $67,000 last summer – on travel to Florida, deliveries via DoorDash, and at stores like Puma, Lacoste, and Saks.

He stands charged with bank fraud, committing fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits, wire fraud, making false statements, and making false statements in connection to credit or loan applications.



Source: on 2021-04-06 15:04:32

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