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Press Release

Florida Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Small Business Administration to Obtain COVID Relief Loan while in Federal Custody

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

OKLAHOMA CITY – Today, ADONIJAH LINDSAY, 38, of Miami, Florida, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester.

On August 16, 2023, a federal grand jury returned an Indictment, which charged Lindsay with two counts of wire fraud. According to the Indictment, on June 24, 2020, Lindsay applied to the Small Business Administration (SBA) for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), which provided loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Indictment alleges that in his loan application, Lindsay claimed to own a business with revenue of more than $200,000 in 2019. In fact, Lindsay did not own a business. The Indictment explains that Lindsay spent most of 2019 incarcerated in federal prison and applied for the loan while in a Bureau of Prisons residential reentry center in Florida. Based on his false statements, Lindsay’s application was approved by the SBA, and $74,000 was disbursed to a banking account in Enid, Oklahoma in June 2020.

Today, Lindsay pleaded guilty to the Indictment, and admitted he provided false information to defraud the SBA. At sentencing, he faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC). The PRAC was established to promote transparency and facilitate coordinated oversight of the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response. The PRAC’s 20-member Inspectors General identify major risks that cross program and agency boundaries to detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement in the more than $5 trillion in COVID-19 spending, including spending via the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL program. The PRAC’s Pandemic Analytics Center of Excellence applies the latest advances in analytic and forensic technologies to help OIGs and law enforcement pursue data-driven pandemic relief fraud investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney D.H. Dilbeck is prosecuting the case.

Reference is made to public filings for additional information.

Updated January 10, 2024