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Press Release

Chicago Man Sentenced to Five and a Half Years in Federal Prison for $2.9 Million Covid-Relief Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal judge has sentenced a Chicago man to five and a half years in prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $2.9 million in small business loans and grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

From April to November of 2020, QUAMDEEN AMUWO, 41, participated in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  The EIDL program was intended to provide loan assistance and grants to cover working capital and other operating expenses for legitimate businesses suffering the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  As part of the scheme, Amuwo submitted to the SBA numerous applications for loans on behalf of businesses that he and others purportedly owned.  The applications contained false statements and misrepresentations concerning the purported entities’ owners, employees, revenues, costs, and dates of establishment.  In support of his applications, Amuwo provided false business registration forms and bogus personal identifying information of the purported owners.

Amuwo led and organized a sophisticated fraud scheme that caused the SBA to disburse at least $2.9 million in EIDL loans and grants into bank accounts that he and others controlled.  He used the money to make cash withdrawals, transfers, and purchases for his personal benefit.

A federal jury in June convicted Amuwo on all twelve wire fraud counts against him.  In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang on Wednesday ordered Amuwo to pay more than $2.9 million in restitution.

The sentence was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI.  Substantial assistance was provided by the SBA’s Office of Inspector General.  The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heidi Manschreck and Matthew Moyer.

Anyone with information about attempted fraud involving Covid-19 can report it to the Department of Justice by calling the National Center for Disaster Fraud at (866) 720-5721, or by filing a complaint online at

Updated January 5, 2024

Disaster Fraud
Financial Fraud