A former mayoral candidate for the city of Conyers allegedly concocted a scheme to use a company she started to steal more than $323,000 from the federal Paycheck Protection Program.
Officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia arraigned the woman, Olivia Ware, 61, on federal charges of bank fraud and money laundering.
This, according to a press release that federal officials published this week
PPP is an emergency funding program that federal officials say assists small business owners and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In 2020, Olivia Ware was the CEO of a Georgia company called Let’s Talk About the Family, Inc., but according to state records, it did not pay wages to any employees. Yet, Ware allegedly submitted a false application to a bank for a PPP loan for the company that included fictitious tax records purporting to show the company had 54 employees that were paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in salary,” according to the press release.
“As a result of this materially false information, the bank loaned over $323,000 in PPP funds to Ware’s company. Ware then allegedly spent the PPP loan for her own benefit, including to buy an in-ground swimming pool, furniture, and other home improvement items, and to pay down the principal on her mortgage.”
Ware, according to her Facebook campaign page, has experience in grant writing, disability policy making, and was involved with the Foster Care Parents Association and the Women Impacting Public Policy Association. She was also involved with the National Women Business Owners Corporation.
As reported last month, the Small Business Administration hid communications with Planned Parenthood regarding COVID-19 loans that Republicans say were illegal. The SBA released heavily redacted emails between the agency, lenders and Planned Parenthood affiliates in response to a Freedom of Information Act request the DCNF filed in May 2020.
GOP lawmakers had previously demanded an investigation into $80 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, saying they were obtained illegally.
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