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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Indiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Indianapolis Woman Convicted of Felonies and Sentenced for Falsely Seeking COVID 19 Relief Loans for Non-Existent Businesses

INDIANAPOLIS – Brooke Bowie, 29, of Indianapolis, was sentenced to 8 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to four felony counts of making and using false documents in an attempt to fraudulently obtain COVID‑19 related disaster loans.

According to court documents, Bowie submitted four separate applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) following the onset of the COVID‑19 pandemic. In all four applications for EIDL loans, Bowie claimed to run a business with some variant of the name “Icie Beauty 4 Life” with between $20,000 and $80,000 in revenue for the prior year. Bowie changed the spelling of the business on each loan application, as well as the nature of the business, and the number of purported employees.

Bowie’s applications were fraudulent because the purported business had no employees or revenue, and, in fact, did not even exist. In addition, Bowie stated on her EIDL loan applications that she had no pending felony charges. On the contrary, Bowie had numerous pending felony charges at the time of the applications. Indiana’s State Board of Accounts denied all four of Bowie’s EIDL loan applications due to suspicion of fraud. 

Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, and Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Indianapolis Field Office, made the announcement.

The FBI investigated the case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker. As part of the sentence, Judge Barker ordered that Bowie be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following her release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Bradley A. Blackington who prosecuted this case.

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 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 https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

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 https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form

Updated September 7, 2022