Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), issued the following statement after U.S. District Judge Mary Kay Vyskocil sentenced Adedayo Ilori to 25 years in prison yesterday for his participation in a scheme to defraud the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (COVID-19 EIDL) program and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
“Let this sentencing be a wakeup call to fraudsters: the consequences for your criminal behavior will be severe, and we will not stop until we’ve detected every dollar lost to fraud, waste, and abuse,” said Chair Horowitz. “These programs were intended to help small business owners during the pandemic. Unfortunately, fraudsters like Ilori took advantage of them to enrich themselves and used the identities of innocent taxpayers to do so. This sentencing would not be possible without the great work of U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Damian Williams and his staff, and the investigating agents of the U.S. Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. Federal and state partners will continue to tirelessly pursue those who stole money from pandemic relief programs and assist victims of these schemes.”
In November 2022, a jury found Ilori guilty of using stolen identities and falsified documents to apply for more than $10 million in COVID-19 EIDL/PPP loans alongside his co-defendant, Chris Recamier. The individuals secured more than $1 million in stolen funds, which they used, among other things, to invest in cryptocurrency, purchase stocks, and lease luxury apartments and a Mercedes. Recamier received a nine-year prison sentence in October 2022.
The PRAC was established by the CARES Act to promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the CARES Act and other related emergency spending bills. In addition to its coordination and oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries.”
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