Four local individuals charged in separate pandemic relief fraud schemes
CINCINNATI (STL.News) Four local individuals have been charged federally with defrauding COVID-19 pandemic relief funding programs. In separate cases, the four are alleged to have lied about owning businesses and employing others. Some defendants allegedly applied multiple times for relief funding and some allegedly spent the funding they received on lavish personal items and vacation travel.
Kelli Prather, 48, of Cincinnati, appeared in federal court in Cincinnati this afternoon. According to court documents, she applied for six Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans as part of the CARES Act COVID-19 pandemic relief.
Prather allegedly purported to be the owner of six businesses – Enhanced Healthcare Solutions, Life Skills Enhancement, Prather Property Management, Reliable Ambulette Services, Rich Glo Management Services and Tots R Us. It is alleged that the bank discovered a number of errors with Prather’s loan applications and also identified that there were six different, pending applications.
According to the criminal complaint, Prather sought more than $600,000 in fraud relief and fraudulently received approximately $19,800.
She is charged with bank fraud (up to 30 years in prison), aggravated identity theft (at least two years in prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed), making false statements (up to five years in prison), making false statements in connection to credit or loan applications (up to 30 years in prison) and false representation of a social security number (up to five years in prison).