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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced for COVID-19 Relief Program Fraud

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

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Jackie Harper, 51, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on May 8, 2024, in federal court in Omaha for making false statements to the Small Business Administration.  United States District Court Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Harper to three years’ probation and ordered him to pay $154,247.06 in restitution, nearly all of which has already been paid. 

During 2020 and 2021, Harper, assisted by another person, submitted applications for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) program loans. Those loan programs were created or expanded by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, which was designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The applications misrepresented how much Harper’s business had paid employees in past compensation and how much revenue Harper’s business had received, resulting in applications for significantly inflated loan amounts under the PPP and EIDL programs. The PPP applications were supported by false tax documents. The fraudulent applications on behalf of Harper resulted in him receiving loans and grants totaling approximately $145,300.  

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

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:

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General.


Lecia Wright - Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney (402) 661-3700

Updated May 9, 2024