According to the U.S. Department of Justice, a pair of central Ohio women Lorie A. Schaefer, 62, of Westerville, and Latisha C. Holloway, 42, of Reynoldsburg, have been charged in federal court with crimes related to receiving more than $2.8 million in covid-relief funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Schaefer allegedly received about $1.9 million in Covid-relief funds by claiming affiliation with the Flying Pizza restaurants in Dayton, Centerville, and Fairborn. According to the Department of Justice and court documents, Schaefer allegedly claimed to have 98 employees and submitted altered bank records as part of her application for PPP. She also allegedly included other fraudulent documents to her PPP application, like a bank statement, tax records, and IRS letter.
Bank records allegedly show that Schaefer used the money from PPP funds for items like liposuction ($26,000), a “newborn baby gift” ($10,000 check), and condo renovations in Westerville ($900,000). Other purchases allegedly include items from Wayfair, Lamps Plus, Kroger, KFC, Burger King, Arby’s, McDonald’s and Olive Garden. “Evidence also suggests Schaefer used the fraud proceeds to purchase vehicles in Ohio and property in Australia for her personal use,” says the DOJ press release.
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The Flying Pizza Restaurant responded that their “restaurant could not justify such a large loan,” when they were notified that a PPP loan for almost $1.9 million had been filed under their name, according to the DOJ report.
It’s also alleged that Schaefer applied for an additional $20,800 in PPP funds under a corporation established by herself called “LS Associates.” She allegedly used another individual’s Social Security Number to do this.
Allegedly, Schaefer helped Latisha C. Holloway receive more than $980,000 in PPP loans, as well. Holloway submitted a loan application within a month of Schaefer receiving her own PPP loans, “and records indicate Holloway wired Schaefer $180,000 after receiving her own loan money,” says the press release from the DOJ. Just like Schaefer, Holloway allegedly attached fraudulent documents to her PPP loan, such as fake tax records and bank statements.
However, Holloway didn’t claim she was affiliated with The Flying Pizza; instead, she allegedly claimed to own a business called “Jaguar Logistics, LLC.” She allegedly stated on a loan application document that she ran the business with 76 employees with a total income of $4.9 million.
Also, both Holloway and Schaefer were said to have collected benefits from unemployment after receiving these PPP funds.
Schaefer was arrested on Aug. 25th, and Holloway was arrested yesterday, August 30th, 2023.
The DOJ report says, “As Attorney General Merrick Garland recently made clear, while the COVID-19 public health emergency may have ended, our work to identify and hold accountable those who stole pandemic relief funds is far from over,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth L. Parker. “Working alongside our law enforcement partners, we will continue to prosecute the individuals who engaged in these illegal activities.”
As a reminder from the Department of Justice, “Criminal complaints merely contain allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.”
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