United States Court Convicts Nigerian, Shalewa, Over COVID-19 Relief Fraud - THE DAILY CRUCIBLE



Friday, December 10, 2021

United States Court Convicts Nigerian, Shalewa, Over COVID-19 Relief Fraud

The Daily Crucible | Friday, December 10, 2021

A federal jury convicted a Nigerian living in Texas, Lola Shalewa Barbara Kasali, 24,
 for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of over $1.9 million in loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

She was convicted on Wednesday.

The court documents and evidence presented at trial of Shalewa shows she submitted two fraudulent loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of her companies, Lola’s Level and Charm Hair Extensions. 

The Daily Crucible learnt that through these loan applications, Kasali sought over $3.8 million in PPP loan funds. Kasali falsely represented the number of employees and payroll expenses in each of the PPP loan applications. 

To support these applications, Kasali also submitted fraudulent tax records. Kasali ultimately received over $1.9 million in PPP loan funds. The Justice Department, along with its law enforcement partners, seized the funds that Kasali fraudulently obtained.

Kasali was convicted of two counts of making false statements to a financial institution and two counts of bank fraud. She is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 25, 2022, and faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison for each count of conviction.

 A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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