Nigerian Lady Charged In $1.9M COVID-19 Relief Fund Fraud - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE

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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Nigerian Lady Charged In $1.9M COVID-19 Relief Fund Fraud


 • Shalewa

A Nigerian lady living in Texas has been taken into custody on allegations of fraudulently obtaining nearly $1.9 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, announced Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick of the Southern District of Texas.   

The Nigerian  lady, Lola Shalewa Barbara Kasali, of 22, of Houston, is charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, according to a release made available to The Daily Crucible by the Department of Justice(DOJ).

 Shalewa  made her initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christina Bryan in Houston at 2:00 p.m. CDT on Wednesday(yesterday)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees PPP loans under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The criminal complaint, unsealed on Tuesday, alleges Kasali submitted at least two fraudulent PPP loan applications - one on behalf of an entity called Lola’s Level and the other in the name of Charm Hair Extensions. Kasali allegedly received more than $1.9 million in PPP loan funds following the approval of the Lola’s Level application. The charges allege that after receiving the funds, Kasali transferred the money into four additional bank accounts. Authorities were later able to seize the funds, according to the charges.

The loan applications allegedly asserted both Charm Hair Extensions and Lola’s Level had numerous employees and significant payroll expenses. According to the charges, however, neither entity has employees nor pays wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the loan applications.

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