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Press Release

Maryland Resident Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud After Preparing and Submitting Fraudulent Applications for Cares Act Financial Assistance

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

NEW ORLEANS – U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that SIEDAH ELEY, age 30, a resident of Houston, Texas, and formerly a resident of Columbia, Maryland, pled guilty  before United States District Judge Ivan L.R. Lemelle to a one-count bill of information charging her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 1343, announced U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans.  The charge stems from ELEY’S role in preparing and filing false applications for loans related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). 

According to court documents, ELEY used both  word-of-mouth and text message contacts to fraudulently solicit individuals interested in obtaining money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program with her assistance.  When someone expressed interest, ELEY requested  the following information from the applicant: the applicant’s name, address, social security, and phone number, a copy of the front and back of the applicant’s driver’s license, a bank statement from 2020, and the routing and account number for the applicant’s bank account.  ELEY then created a false and fraudulent loan application.  Among the false representations ELEY included in the pertinent forms was that the applicant had a sole proprietorship in the beauty industry and generated substantial income from those businesses.  ELEY also submitted financial numbers that overstated the gross receipts, expenses, and net income for the business, which resulted in the creation of a false federal tax Form 1040, Schedule C by the online portal that accepted and processed the application.  In several instances, where the applicant received minimal income from the beauty business, ELEY knowingly and falsely inflated the amount of income.  Each of the above-described false representations constituted a misstatement that was material to the determination of the eligibility of the applicant and the loan amount the applicant would receive. 

Once the loan was paid to the applicant, ELEY charged some applicants up to $5,000.00 for preparing and submitting the fraudulent PPP application.  ELEY used this scheme to file her own fraudulent application and applications for at least seven (7) co-conspirators, which resulted in a total loss to the Small Business Association of approximately $166,656.

ELEY faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five (5) years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, up to a $250,000 fine, and a $100 mandatory special assessment fee.  Sentencing before Judge Lemelle has been scheduled for September 20, 2023.

For more information on the Department of Justice’s response to the pandemic, please visit 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

U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the United States Secret Service in investigating this matter. Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, Chief of the Public Integrity Unit, is in charge of the prosecution.


Shane M. Jones

Public Information Officer

United States Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Louisiana

United States Department of Justice

Updated May 23, 2023

Financial Fraud