Federal and International, Law and Order

Chicago Man Convicted of $2.7 Million COVID Relief Fraud

Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- A federal jury convicted a Chicago man of fraudulently obtaining more than $2.7 million in small business loans and grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, or COVID Relief.

From April to November 2020, QUAMDEEN AMUWO, 41, participated in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  The EIDL program was intended to provide loan assistance and grants to cover working capital and other operating expenses for legitimate businesses suffering the economic effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.  As part of the scheme, Amuwo submitted numerous applications for loans for COVID relief to the SBA on behalf of businesses he and others purportedly owned.  The applications contained false statements and misrepresentations concerning the purported entities’ owners, employees, revenues, costs, and establishment dates.  In an attempt to support his applications, Amuwo provided false business registration forms and bogus personal identifying information of the purported owners.

COVID Relief Funds for Personal Benefit

Amuwo caused the SBA to disburse at least $2.7 million in EIDL loans and grants. These went into bank accounts that he and others controlled. The intention of the grants and loans was COVID relief, according to the DOJ. Instead, he used the money to make cash withdrawals, transfers, and purchases for personal benefit.

A jury at Amuwo’s U.S. District Court in Chicago trial convicted him on June 29, 2023, of all twelve wire fraud counts.  The jury also found that approximately $120,000 seized from accounts Amuwo held must go to the government.

Each count of wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison.  U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang set sentencing for Oct. 10, 2023.

Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI, announced the conviction.  Substantial assistance was provided by the SBA’s Office of Inspector General.  Assistant U.S. Attorneys Heidi Manschreck and Matthew Moyer represent the government.

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.