Three local women, including ex-mayor Kelli Prather, accused of PPP fraud

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CINCINNATI – Three Cincinnati women, including former hopeful Mayor Kelli Prather, have received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal pandemic relief funds after lying in their demands, according to federal prosecutors.

Prather, 48 years old; Toni Wright, 34; and Melissa McGhee, 37, are each charged with bank fraud in connection with their loan applications and could face more than 30 years in prison.

Prather applied for six Paycheck Protection Program loans – one for each of six businesses she claimed to own: Enhanced Healthcare Solutions, Life Skills Improvement, Prather Property Management, Reliable Ambulet Services, Services management Rich Glo and Tots R Us.

She asked for $ 600,000 but only received $ 19,800, prosecutors said.

According to court documents, Prather spent more than $ 8,000 on unprofessional expenses, at places like Kroger, Staples, Krispy Kreme, AAA Car Wash and the Park Place restaurant in Forest Park.

An ex-boyfriend told special agents that Prather gave her a check for $ 8,000 as payment for a house in Madisonville that she had previously purchased and then listed in his name. It required serious work and was not conducive to housing a business, he told investigators. The Kenwood Road address was used in the loan application for some Prather businesses.

Prather is charged with bank fraud, aggravated identity theft, misrepresentation, misrepresentation in connection with credit or loan applications, and misrepresentation of a social security number.

Lawyer Arica Underwood declined to comment on the case on Wednesday.

More WCPO 9 I-Team coverage of PPP loans:

The other suspects got much bigger payouts.

McGhee submitted seven different requests for pandemic relief and got three for a payment of $ 186,000. The money went into real estate and a mortgage, prosecutors said.

She faces charges of bank fraud, major disaster or emergency benefit fraud, electronic fraud, and misrepresentation and misrepresentation in connection with credit or loan applications.

Lawyer Herbert Haas noted on Wednesday that McGhee had not yet been charged with the charges.

“When these requests are made, they are made through a bank that reviews the applicant’s loan application before granting any type of loan,” Haas said.

Prosecutors wrote that Wright, the last local suspect, received $ 349,000 in fraudulent PPP loans after claiming to be the sole owner of three companies: Poshedbar, Beautiful Beginnings Doula Service and Jerry’s Electronics.

She generously spent the money when she got it. According to prosecutors, Wright “claims to have used P3 funds for various personal purchases, such as restaurants through DoorDash, retail establishments such as Michael Kors, Louis Vuitton, Kay Jewelers, and vacation activities such as Kings Island,” Luxury Rentals Miami and American Airlines. “

At least $ 10,000 went to Sono Bello cosmetic spa. Several thousand dollars were spent on what special agents called a “gambling spree” at local casinos.

She faces charges of bank fraud, major disaster or emergency benefit fraud, electronic fraud, and misrepresentation and misrepresentation in connection with credit or loan applications.

A Dayton, Ohio man – Jon Bader – is accused of registering his auto business in June 2020, well past the loan eligibility limit. He is accused of having lied on his request and of having received more than $ 120,000.

Court documents allege Bader spent as much as $ 67,000 last summer – on trips to Florida, on deliveries through DoorDash and to stores like Puma, Lacoste and Saks.

He is charged with bank fraud, major disaster or emergency benefit fraud, electronic fraud, misrepresentation and misrepresentation in connection with credit or loan applications.

Bader’s attorney, Robert Kelly, declined to comment.

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