June 25, 2021

By Delaney Sexton
Contributing Editor

Fraud Friday- Trial Finally Begins July 7th for Alleged SBA Loan Fraudster Kerri Agee

The president of the Nation’s largest SBA loan service provider, a former director of NAGGL, and one of the most powerful women in SBA Lending industry will finally see her day in court. Kerri Agee initially faced thirteen charges after her indictment in March 2019, but that has decreased to four charges. One charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and three charges of wire fraud affecting a financial institution still stand. After nearly four years since the initial FBI raid of Banc-Serv, the trial will begin on July 7th.

Adding to Kerri’s woes, the trustee of Agee’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy sued Agee’s husband, Ben Crawford, for $1.4 million for unlawful conveyance of assets. After Kerri Agee sold Banc-Serv to Newtek for $5.4 million, she allegedly transferred the money into her husband’s account from 2017 to 2019. Crawford used $230,000 to purchase real estate in Santa Rosa Beach, Florida.

Kerri’s problems had been compounded from the litigation of Newtek. “Newtek learned a loan-servicing account that held money owed to lenders had been running at a deficit for several years and had a $801,000 shortfall at the time of the sale,” says an article by the Indiana Business Journal.

Finally, Kerri wanted to take a spring break vacation this year in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Judge Tanya Pratt denied this appeal to her travel restrictions. “The court has been made aware of defendant’s financial situation which includes a substantial increase of debt, decrease in income, and unpaid accounts over the last year. With the new information discovered on her credit report, the probation officer does not believe travel is appropriate at this time. The court agrees,” says Tanya.

Kerri Agee, also known as Keri Agee-Smith, was the former president, CEO, and founder of Banc-Serv prior to her departure in 2018 and indictment for her role in a thirteen-year-long conspiracy to defraud the SBA in March of 2019. Kelly Isley (COO), Chad Griffin (Marketing Officer), Nicole Smith-Kelso (employee), Matt Smith (Co-Founder and Ex-husband), and Kerri Agee are being charged in this conspiracy. “The indictment alleges that the defendants and their co-conspirators originated dozens of loans, totaling over $10 million in disbursements, which were not eligible for SBA guarantees,” says the DOJ.

Sources:

Indiana Business Journal Article

DOJ Press Release

Ben Crawford Case

Indictment

Read our previous reporting:

Uh Oh, FBI Raids Banc-serv Campus, Locks Doors — October 13, 2017

Banc-Serv Retains Brent Ciurlino, Appoints Karen McHugh EVP — October 19, 2017

Newtek Forecasts Zero Earnings from banc-serv — November 3, 2017

Kerri Agee out of banc-serv — April 13, 2018

Banc-Serv’s Kerri Agee, 4 others Arrested for $10 Million SBA Loan Fraud — March 22, 2019

“They Got Us” CEO of banc-serv Indicted for $10 Million Loan Fraud Scheme” — August 23, 2019

Fraud Friday – “Working Capital” Fits better than “Past Due Payroll Taxes” — August 30, 2019

“They Got Us” Swapping Business Owners — September 6, 2019

Fraud Friday – banc-serv Second Loan Case Study September 13, 2019

SBA C-Suite Tips Wednesday – Learn from Small Business Loan Fraud October 9, 2019

Kerri Agee Allegedly Provides False Financials Prior banc-serv Sale May 22, 2020