A Ghanaian couple in the United States of America has been charged with fraud after falsely applying for loans under the CARES Act and remitting the funds to individuals residing in Ghana.
According to federal authorities, between July and August last year, the couple submitted fraudulent applications for at least three Economic Injury Disaster Loans totaling about $194,700.
They created fictitious companies for the loan and spent the money they received on unauthorized personal expenses.
The two, Lucy Oworae, 56, and her husband, Richard Oworae, 59 are permanent residents in the US.
Richard Oworae submitted applications to the Small Business Administration using a false business, Gimp Management Consultant where he identified himself as ‘Owner/Officer”.
His wife, Lucy had also registered a “U.S. Postal Services P&DC” company where she is registered as the owner of the business.
From August 5 until October 26, at least $16,500.32 of the proceeds of the fraudulent GMC loan was transferred, to individuals living in Ghana, documents indicate.
The issue was reported to a postal service supervisor, who alerted investigators.
The EIDL funds are available to eligible individuals and businesses pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, to assist business owners negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Loan proceeds are only allowed to be used on expenses like payment of fixed business debts, payroll, accounts payable and other business-related expenses that could have been paid had the Covid-19 disaster not occurred.