Friday, May 24

4 South Florida residents charged with PPP loan fraud worth $1.3 mullion

Four South Florida residents two from Loxahatchee and two from Miami have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud wire fraud in connection with their submission of false and fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications worth $1.3 million.

Raisha Kelly, 43, and Widny Thibaud, 44, of Loxahatche, and Cortira Gray, 33, and Ann Gilchrist, 55, of Miami, made initial court appearances this week in Miami.

They conspired with themselves and others to submit PPP loan applications, and submitted and caused the submission of fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications, according to allegations in the indictment and statements made in open court,

They did it on behalf of themselves and corporate entities that they controlled.

Kelly, in return for the payment of kickbacks, submitted false and fraudulent PPP loan applications for Gilchrist, Gray and others, according to the indictment.

The four people falsified IRS forms, among other things that falsely and fraudulently represented the annual gross receipts and tentative profits of the sole proprietorships and corporate entities they controlled, DOJ says.

Gray was an employee of the U.S. Postal Service and Gilchrist was an employee of the Miami-Dade Transit Department.

Thibaud is also charged with a separate wire fraud scheme for his submission of a false and fraudulent mortgage loan application to a mortgage lender that caused Thibaud to receive a $700,000 mortgage for which he was not qualified.

The U.S. Postal Service, U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Inspector General investigated.


In March 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

On May 17, 2021, the attorney general established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across the government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justices National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: []

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