CLEVELAND — A federal grand jury in Cleveland returned a 14-count indictment Tuesday against six individuals accused of illegally trying to obtain $9 million from CARES Act funding from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The individuals named in the indictment are Terrence Pounds, 44, of Holland, Ohio; Charles Tiller, 37, of Columbus, Ohio; Terri Davis, 30, of Old Hickory, Tennessee; Randolph Nunn, 48, of Canton, Ohio; Samira Abdul-Karim, 27, of New Haven, Connecticut; and Quwan Simmons, 28, of Hartford, Connecticut.
All have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Pounds, Nunn, Davis and Tiller face additional counts of money laundering.
According to the indictment, between around March 31, 2020 to Dec. 17, 2020, Pounds recruited Tiller, Davis, Nunn, Abdul-Karim and Simmons along with others. They gave Tiller their personal information, which he used to apply for EIDL loans in their names.
In the loan applications, Pounds wrote the others operated a nonprofit organization that was a “Faith-Based Organization” and a “Church” with $1,000,000 in revenue and 15 employees, and it was approved by the SBA.
The indictment also alleges Pounds submitted an application on behalf of himself and is accused of using the funds to buy a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 2021 Kia Telluride, a 2020 Hyundai Elantra and a 2020 BMW X4.
In total, they are accused of submitting 60 fraudulent EIDL loan applications and other fraudulent PPP loan applications seeking a total of approximately $9 million, and around $3.3 million was approved by the SBA.
Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan for the Northern District of Ohio said Tuesday if they are convicted, the sentences will be determined by the court after a review of factors, including prior criminal record and what their role was in the offense.
“COVID-19 relief funds are intended to support hardworking Americans and small businesses struggling with financial challenges as a result of the pandemic,” said Brennan. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to pursuing anyone alleged to have fraudulently obtained relief funding.”
Allegations of COVID-19 fraud can be submitted to the to the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or by filling out the NCDF Web Complaint Form.