An Owasso man who fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was sentenced Monday in federal court, announced U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson.
U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Olusola Ojo, 43, to 48 months in federal prison followed by five years of supervised release. Eagan also ordered Ojo to pay $150,000 in restitution to Stride Bank.
“The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to pursue justice in cases where fraudsters bilk American taxpayers of funds meant to support vulnerable small business owners and their employees,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Olusola Ojo’s four-year prison sentence should send a message that white collar criminals will be held accountable for their illicit behavior.”
On Nov. 18, 2021, a federal jury found Olusola Ojo, also known as Sam Ojo, 42, guilty of bank fraud conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
Ojo, along with two coconspirators, created 12 fictitious business entities that would fraudulently apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans under false pretenses such as the number of employees, payroll expenditures, taxes paid during previous months, details of business ownership, and a false representation of their relationship with one another. During this time, Ibanga Etuk, Teosha Etuk, and Ojo submitted multiple applications for the same businesses to more than ten different banks, without disclosing to those banks that they were submitting duplicative applications. They conspired to obtain loans in the total approximate amount of $5,430,585 and actually obtained funding from banks in the total approximate amount of $995,385.
As part of the conspiracy, Ojo knowingly applied for a Paycheck Protection Program loan from Frontier State Bank under false pretenses from April 20, 2020, to April 29, 2020,. 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 Quicksold Market, Inc.
From May 8, 2020, to May, 11, 2020, Ojo also applied for a $150,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan from Stride Bank submitted under false pretenses for the Inspired Group LLC.
As part of his crimes, Ojo used another individual’s identity on payroll records summitted to the banks when applying for the loans.
Ojo’s two codefendants previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced.
Ibanga Etuk, 42, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to a total of four years in federal prison— two years for bank fraud and two years for aggravated identity theft. He was also ordered to pay $168,000 in restitution to Chickasaw Community Bank.
Teosha Etuk, 34, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud and was sentenced 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.
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, Victor A.S. Régal, and David D. Whipple prosecuted 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