SALT LAKE CITY – Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry, 49, of Provo, pleaded guilty to her role in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud program last week in federal court. Rowberry pleaded guilty to loan application fraud for illegally obtaining a federal loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for the Frisbu Trucking Company, where she was employed by the company owner and co -accused, Hubert Ivan Ugarte. Ugarte pleaded guilty to PPP loan fraud and federal corruption charges involving the FedEx Ground Hub in federal court last month.
According to the plea deal, Rowberry admitted to submitting a fraudulent loan application to the Transportation Alliance Bank in Ogden, Utah, for PPP loans authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and that she fraudulently obtained $ 210,000 in PPP loans for Frisbu after failing to disclose on the loan application that Ugarte was facing federal charges for his role in a bribery scheme involving the FedEx Ground Hub . Rowberry said she first met Ugarte while working as a branch manager at a branch of the American bank in Utah where Ugarte was a client, and that when she went to work for Ugarte, she knew he was facing federal charges for his role in a FedEx. A Ground Hub corruption scheme that happened in Utah.
The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $ 349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job maintenance and certain other expenses under the PPP. In April 2020, Congress authorized over $ 300 billion in additional P3 funding, and Congress again authorized more than $ 284 billion in additional P3 funding in 2021.
The proceeds of the PPP loan are to be used by businesses on salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. The PPP allows the interest and principal of the PPP loan to be fully written off if the business spends the loan proceeds on those expenses within a specified period of time after receiving the proceeds and uses a certain amount of the proceeds of the PPP loan on salary expenses.
The sentence is set for July 72021 for Rowberry and June 3, 2021 for Ugarte.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys at the Utah Attorney’s Office pursued the case against Rowberry. Special agents from the FBI, IRS, and the Department of Transportation’s Inspector General’s office conducted the investigations.