June 17, 2022
Fraud Friday – Woman Arrested for Using Deceased Infant’s Identity in $1.5 Million PPP Fraud
Earlier this month, Ava Misseldine was charged with passport fraud, Social Security number fraud, aggravated identity theft, and fraud in connection to an emergency. The criminal complaint claims that she applied for 16 PPP loans and received $1.5 million over the course of 2020 and 2021. Allegedly, she used her own business, defunct businesses, real businesses, and fake businesses to obtain the loans, including her bakery Koko Tea Salon & Bakery which was once featured on Food Network. With the money, Ava purchased a home worth almost $650,000 in Utah and a $327,500 home in Michigan.
Her crimes started 25 years ago. In 1997 Misseldine was sentenced to prison for theft, forgery, and escape in Union County in Ohio and was later released in 2000. Three years later, she allegedly utilized the identity of “Brie Bourgeois”, an infant that passed away in 1979, to apply for and receive an ID, a Social Security Card, and a driver’s license.
In 2007 “Brie Bourgeois” obtained a student pilot certificate and a U.S. Passport, claiming that it was necessary due to international travel related to her occupation as a flight attendant for JetSelect. In the passport application, Bourgeois was planning to travel to Dubai, and she submitted a letter from JetSelect confirming that Bourgeois needed a passport to travel throughout Europe and the Middle East. That same year, “Brie Bourgeois” pled guilty to theft charges.
Two years later, she was sued, and a document filed during that case referred to her as “Ava Misseldine (aka Brie Bourgeois)”. Then in 2014 Ava Misseldine filed for bankruptcy and was asked if she ever used the name “Brie Bourgeois”. The criminal complaint states that at the hearing, “She falsely said she had only used that name for about two years, and she last used it about four years ago. She claimed that she was adopted. ‘Brie Bourgeois’ was her birth name, and she briefly used the name ‘Brie Bourgeois’ until her adoptive family became upset about it.”
For nearly two decades she allegedly used her true identity along with the identity of Brie to obtain identity documents and was eventually investigated starting in 2021. She now faces a mandatory minimum of two years in prison and up to thirty years in prison.