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Press Release

Omaha Man Sentenced for COVID Fraud Conspiracy

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

United States Attorney Susan Lehr announced that Ramel D. Thompson, 60, of Omaha, Nebraska, was sentenced on April 25, 2024, in federal court in Omaha for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  United States District Court Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Thompson to 70 months’ imprisonment and ordered him to pay $2,518,556.75 in restitution for the loans and grants, plus interest and processing fees, Thompson actually acquired.  After Thompson’s release from prison, he will begin a 3-year term of supervised release.

During 2020 and 2021, Thompson provided direction and assistance to others in preparing and submitting applications containing material misrepresentations to obtain inflated Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) loans and grants on behalf of their businesses.  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.  Thompson also submitted one fraudulent application for a loan on his own behalf, but it was not funded. 

Thompson assisted in inflating the amount of the loans for which his and others’ businesses would qualify by overstating on applications what the businesses had paid in past compensation or had received in revenue, and/or by understating the expenses the businesses had incurred.  He also created and assisted in creating phony documents in support of applications, such as false tax documents that were not filed with the IRS. 

Thompson also assisted others in preparing and submitting false applications for forgiveness of PPP loans.  The forgiveness applications were supported by false documents that Thompson helped prepare and falsely stated, among other things, that the PPP proceeds had been expended for proper purposes. 

The fraudulent applications that Thompson helped prepare and submit sought loans and grants totaling approximately $5,844,999, and co-conspirators obtained $2,442,616. 

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 April 30, 2024