October 1, 2021
Fraud Friday – Two Former New York Bank Employees and an Accountant Charged with Loan Fraud
“Fraudulent schemes exploiting the Paycheck Protection Program are unfortunately all too commonplace. Okeke, Wint, and Campbell, as charged today, join the ranks of others before them who took it upon themselves to personally and illegally benefit from the protections offered to small businesses during a global pandemic,” says FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge, Michael Driscoll.
Last Thursday, Charlene Wint, a former supervisor at a New York branch of a major bank, and Hashim Campbell, a tax preparer, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. The former branch manager at the same bank Charlene worked at, Anuli Okeke, was arrested and made her initial appearance last week. She was released on a $100,000 bond.
It is alleged that the trio concocted a scheme to obtain more than $3 million in EIDL and PPP loans. The charging documents claim that they provided false tax documents and helped borrowers with PPP and EIDL applications obtaining fraudulent information.
Okeke would allegedly sign the PPP applications on behalf of the bank and submit them for approval knowing that the information and documents were false. After the loans were approved and disbursed to the borrowers, it is believed all three of the defendants and other co-conspirators would receive a kickback from the proceeds. It is also said that the three would fabricate borrower’s financials on EIDL applications and even seek loans for individuals who were not “legitimate” business owners.
“Together with our law enforcement partners, this Office will vigorously prosecute defendants who shamelessly seek to enrich themselves by taking advantage of government programs that are designed to help those in need during the COVID crisis,” states Acting U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Jacquelyn Kasulis.
DOJ Press Release