An Owasso man who fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans backed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) was sentenced Monday in federal court , announced US Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Olusola Ojo, 43, to 48 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Eagan also ordered Ojo to pay Stride Bank $150,000 in restitution.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to seek justice in cases where fraudsters are defrauding U.S. taxpayers of funds intended to support vulnerable small business owners and their employees,” U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson said. “Olusola Ojo’s four-year prison sentence should send the message that white-collar criminals will be held accountable for their wrongful behavior.”
On November 18, 2021, a federal jury found Olusola Ojo, also known as Sam Ojo, 42, guilty of bank fraud conspiracytwo heads of bank fraudand aggravated identity theft.
Ojo, along with two co-conspirators, created 12 fictitious business entities that would fraudulently apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans under false pretenses such as number of employees, payroll expenses, taxes paid in previous months, details of company ownership and a misrepresentation of their relationship to each other. Meanwhile, Ibanga Etuk, Teosha Etuk and Ojo submitted multiple applications for the same businesses to more than ten different banks, without disclosing to these banks that they were submitting duplicate applications. They conspired to secure loans totaling approximately $5,430,585 and actually secured 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 pretences from April 20, 2020 to April 29, 2020. Defendant lied about the number of people employed during previous months of alleged operations, salary expenses in previous months, taxes paid in previous months of operation, business ownership and relationships between parties in a $300,000 loan application submitted for Quicksold Market, Inc.
From May 8, 2020 to May 11, 2020, Ojo also applied for a $150,000 paycheck protection program loan from Stride Bank submitted under false pretences for Inspired Group LLC.
As part of his crimes, Ojo used another person’s identity on payroll records submitted to banks when applying for a loan.
Ojo’s two co-defendants had previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.
Ibanga Etuk, 42, 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, 34, 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 probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution 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 U.S. Attorneys Kristin Harrington, Victor AS Regal, and David D. Whipple prosecuted the case.
To learn more about the Department of Justice’s COVID response, visit: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. For more information about the Criminal Division’s enforcement efforts on PPP fraud, including court documents from important cases, 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: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-for