Owasso man sentenced to prison in COVID-19 business loan scam | Crime News


An Owasso man has been sentenced to federal prison after a jury found him guilty of four criminal counts related to a scam to obtain bogus COVID-19 small-business loans.

U.S. District Judge Claire V. Eagan sentenced Olusola Ojo, 43, to prison terms totaling four years followed by five years of supervised release.

Eagan also ordered Ojo to pay $150,000 in restitution and pay a $400 assessment.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office continues to pursue justice in cases where fraudsters bilk American taxpayers of funds meant to support vulnerable small-business owners and their employees,” said U.S. Attorney Clint Johnson. “Olusola Ojo’s four-year prison sentence should send a message that white-collar criminals will be held accountable for their illicit behavior.”

A Tulsa federal court jury in November found Ojo guilty of two counts of bank fraud and one count each of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Ojo was named along with two others in a series of grand jury indictments dating back to July 2020 that involved over $5 million in small-business Paycheck Protection Program loans.

People are also reading…

The indictments alleged that Ojo and a co-defendant, Ibanga Etuk, conspired to commit bank fraud between April 1 and Aug. 4, 2020.

The defendants created 18 businesses that fraudulently applied for Paycheck Protection Program loans under false pretenses such as the number of employees, payroll expenditures, taxes paid during previous months, details of business ownership and a false representation of their relationship with one another, court filings alleged.

Etuk and his wife, Teosha Etuk, who was charged later, have already pleaded guilty to crimes linked to their part in the scheme.

Ibanga Etuk was sentenced to serve four years in prison. His wife was released April 22 after serving a 12-month, one-day prison term, according to online U.S. Bureau of Prison records.

curtis.killman@tulsaworld.com

Show some Love^^