*Actress Ion Overman is the latest celeb to be indicted on fraud charges related to a PPP loan scam.
Overman, actor Dale Godboldo, media personality Shadi Powers and music producer Carlos Stephens are among 19 celebrities and entrepreneurs indicted in Georgia for scamming the Paycheck Protection Program out of $3 million, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Here’s more from MadameNoire:
These 19 defendants were able to submit their fake PPP loan applications thanks to Mark C. Mason Jr, who also submitted applications for his two businesses Atlanta Business Capital and Advocate Business Capital. Besides the $600,000 he received from scheming on behalf of his companies, he received a “success fee” of two to five percent from each fraudulent PPP loan that was processed successfully. Mason Jr. and the defendants allegedly worked together to create fake IRS Form 941 documents that had fake payroll numbers and Mason Jr. submitted the applications to PPP lenders.
An IRS employee, Melissa Myrick, allegedly assisted Mason Jr. with this scheme.
Myrick reportedly provided him with signed loan applications that were missing key information, such as the number of employees, monthly payroll, and the requested loan amount. Mason Jr. would fill in the blanks after talking to the defendants, according to the report.
Mason Jr. is facing separate charges for his role in the scam.
In December, rapper Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith was sentenced to over a year after being arrested in a COVID-19 loan scheme. We previously reported that Smith, 37, was arrested in 2020 for using coronavirus relief money to fund a luxury lifestyle, such as splurging on a $96,000 Ferrari.
Smith and his co-conspirator Tonye C. Johnson were charged in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scam. The duo faced charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, per Complex.
Smith, who was featured on “Love & Hip Hop: Miami,” allegedly falsified documents for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, for which he received $427,000. He’s also accused of fraudulently obtaining another loan worth almost $1 million.
Investigators linked Smith to another loan scam involving 11 other defendants.