Maryland Woman Charged in Federal Court in Louisiana for Allegedly Preparing and Submitting Multiple Fraudulent Applications for Federal Cares Act Financial Assistance
Louisiana / Maryland – A woman from Maryland has been charged in a federal court in Louisiana for allegedly preparing and submitting multiple fraudulent applications for federal Cares Act financial assistance.
On May 2, 2023, U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that Siedah Eley, age 30, a former resident of Columbia, Maryland, was charged on May 1, 2023, in a one-count bill of information with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1343, for her role in preparing and filing false applications for loans related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
According to the bill of information, Eley recruited friends and family members to join in a scheme to illegally receive money from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans with her aid, mostly by word of mouth and text message. She then electronically prepared and submitted loan applications, falsely claiming that the applicant had a successful sole proprietorship in the beauty industry. Once the PPP loan was funded, Eley charged some applicants up to $5,000.00.
Eley faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a $100 obligatory special assessment charge.
U.S. Attorney Evans emphasized that a bill of information is only a charge and that the defendant’s guilt must be established beyond a reasonable doubt.
Visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus for more information on the Department of Justice’s response to the pandemic. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can contact the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or submit a complaint using the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
United States Attorney Evans lauded the work of the US Secret Service in investigating this case. The prosecution is led by Assistant United States Attorney Jordan Ginsberg, Chief of the Public Integrity Unit.
All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty.