A Texas man was charged late last week with defrauding a bank and making false statements to a financial institution after allegedly lying about his movie company’s payroll expenses and obtaining $1.2 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, federal law enforcement officers said.
Uzoamaka Leonard Ohaebosim, 46, was arrested in Texas after a criminal case against him filed alleging he sought about $1.2 million in PPP loans through applications to an insured financial institution. The complaint alleges that Ohaebosim submitted a PPP loan application that made numerous false and misleading statements regarding his company’s payroll expenses.
Specifically, as part of the loan application, Ohaebosim allegedly provided a false IRS payroll tax form indicating that his company, Spite the Movie, LLC (“STM”), had more than 100 employees who had received wages of approximately $983,000 with taxes withheld of approximately $122,000 in the first quarter of 2020.
“In truth, and in fact, STM had not paid these employees and had not filed this form with the IRS,” the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida stated. “Relying on this false IRS form, the financial institution in South Florida approved and funded approximately $1.2 million in PPP loans.
“Law enforcement has seized these funds,” the U.S. Attorney added.
Meanwhile, in the continuing prosecutions related to the 2017 failure of First NBC Bank of New Orleans, a hotel owner implicated in a fraud that led to the bank’s demise has pleaded guilty to conspiring with the bank’s president to defraud the institution.
The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Louisiana said Arvind “Mike” Vira, 74, of New Orleans pleaded guilty to a years-long conspiracy with First NBC Bank president Ashton J. Ryan to defraud the New Orleans-based bank that failed in April 2017. Vira pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The maximum penalties are five years in prison; a fine of $250,000 or the greater of twice the gain to Vira or twice the loss to any victim; and up to three years of supervised release. Sentencing is set for Jan. 7