Former Louisiana Woman Indicted for Preparing Over 110 Fraudulent PPP Loans Totaling Over $1.1 Million Dollars
Published 11:13 am Saturday, September 10, 2022
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – United States Attorney Duane A. Evans announced today the indictment of SHARNAE EVERY (“EVERY”), age 27, of Houston, Texas, who was charged with one (1) count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 and two (2) counts of Mail Fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341.
The case against EVERY began as a result of a referral from the COVID-19 Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (“PRAC”) regarding possible fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans (“PPP”). Investigators determined there were at least 110 PPP sole proprietor loan applications in and around the Thibodeaux, Louisiana area and they all had the same invoices and federal tax forms (“Schedule C”) with the same business name and amounts.
According to today’s indictment, EVERY created a fictitious business called “Natural Hair Afro, LLC, Houma, LA 70360” and used this fictitious business name on nearly all of the fraudulent PPP loan applications. EVERY advertised under various aliases on Facebook to recruit individuals to obtain money from the PPP program. EVERY prepared and submitted false and fraudulent PPP sole proprietor loan applications via various online portals including, but not limited, to Blueacorn. EVERY created all of the false and fraudulent invoices, bank statements, and Schedule Cs. EVERY falsely certified that the applications and the information provided in the supporting documents were true and accurate when she electronically submitted the fraudulent PPP loan applications.
EVERY charged $45.00 to $120.00 from the individuals she recruited to prepare and submit the fraudulent PPP application. EVERY primarily used Cash App to receive the initial payments. EVERY then charged approximately $3,500.00 once the loans were funded. EVERY received these funds into her Current account, her Cash App account, or into her boyfriend’s Current account.
If convicted, EVERY faces a maximum penalty of twenty (20) years, followed by a term of supervised release for up to three (3) years, a fine up to $250,000.00, or twice the gross gain to the defendant, or twice the gross loss to any victim, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee, per count.
U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. The Veterans Administration, Office of the Inspector General, is an active member of the PRAC Fraud Task Force.
For more information on the Department of Justice’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The United States Attorney’s Office would also like to acknowledge the assistance of the Veterans Administration, Office of the Inspector General; United States Department of Labor, Office of the Inspector General; United States Department of Homeland Security, Homeland Security Investigations; and the United States Secret Service’s Cyber Fraud Task Force, consisting of the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office, Thibodeaux Police Department, and the Louisiana Bureau of Investigation with this matter. The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Brian M. Klebba, Chief of the Financial Crimes Unit, and Assistant United States Attorney Edward Rivera, COVID-19 Fraud Coordinator.