A Tulsa man who fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was sentenced today in federal court, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Ibanga Etuk, 41, to a total of four years in federal prison— two years for bank fraud and two years for aggravated identity theft. Judge Eagan also ordered Etuk to pay $168,000 in restitution to Chickasaw Community Bank.
In a plea agreement, Etuk admitted that from April 6, 2020, to April 29, 2020, he knowingly applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from Frontier State Bank under false pretenses. The defendant lied about the number of people employed during the previous months of purported operations, the payroll expenditures during the previous months, taxes paid during previous months of operation, ownership of the business, and relationships between the parties in a $300,000 loan application submitted for AboveAll Business Inc.
During the same time, Etuk unlawfully used another individual’s identity on payroll records submitted to Frontier State Bank when he applied for the $300,000 loan.
Etuk’s wife, Teosha Etuk, also fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans. She pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on April 6, 2021. She was sentenced on July 19, 2021, to one year and a day in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. She was further ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $150,000 to First Liberty Bank.
In a plea agreement, Teosha Etuk, 33, admitted that from April 14, 2020, to April 29, 2020, she fraudulently applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan through First Liberty Bank. Specifically, she lied about the number of people employed during the previous months of purported operations, the payroll expenditures during the previous months, taxes paid during previous months of operation, ownership of the businesses and relationships between the conspirators in a loan application for $150,000 for the company TMARK Enterprises, Inc.
The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection Office of Inspector General; Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General; and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristin Harrington and Victor A.S. Régal are prosecuting the case.
To learn more about the Justice Department’s COVID response, visit: https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. For further information on the Criminal Division’s enforcement efforts on PPP fraud, including court documents from significant cases, visit the following website: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-fraud/ppp-fraud.
To report a COVID-19-related fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-for
Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect.