Philadelphia Man Charged with Stealing Nearly $200,000 in PPP Funds
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams announced that Omar White Oliver, 43, formerly of Philadelphia, PA, was arrested and charged by Indictment for his involvement in a scheme to unlawfully obtain and misuse loan proceeds offered through the federal Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).
The Indictment, unsealed today, charges the defendant with four felony counts: two counts of bank fraud and attempted bank fraud, and two counts of money laundering. The charges stem from Oliver’s alleged scheme to fraudulently obtain approximately $186,750 in PPP loan proceeds by making false representations regarding his alleged real estate business, Oliver Twist Real Estate, LLC. The Indictment alleges that Oliver made multiple false characterizations about the business, including the number of employees, the wages paid to them, the payroll taxes paid on those wages, and the intended use of the PPP loan proceeds. According to the Indictment, the defendant then used those PPP loan proceeds for personal and unauthorized purchases, including a luxury automobile and an American Express platinum card bill. As charged, the defendant also caused a second fraudulent PPP loan application to be submitted for approximately the same amount in early 2021, but that application was denied.
“Paycheck Protection Program funds are intended to help American small businesses continue paying their employees, even if revenues have dropped dramatically due to the pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Williams. “Thieves who attempt to take these funds are taking advantage of others’ misfortune – ripping them off while also ripping off all taxpayers who fund the program. Here, the defendant is charged with fraudulently obtaining nearly $200,000 that could have helped struggling businesses and individuals but instead allegedly paid for personal indulgences.”
“The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented amid widespread economic upheaval caused by the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “The intention was to keep both businesses and employees financially afloat — not afford scammers some lavish lifestyle. Anyone who thinks defrauding U.S. taxpayers is a quick way to an easy payday best think again, because the FBI stands very ready to hold you accountable.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mary E. Crawley.