Grand Jury Indicts Cincinnati Man for COVID Relief Fraud
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio:
CINCINNATI– A man formerly and currently incarcerated in Hamilton County on state charges has been charged federally with crimes related to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud.
Willie Boyce, 41, was indicted today by a federal grand jury.
According to the indictment, Boyce was incarcerated in Hamilton County from March 2018 until September 2020, when he was released to a halfway house.
The indictment alleges that Boyce applied electronically for two PPP loans in April 2021, claiming he owned a business named “Willie Boyce” that provided taxi and ridesharing services. Boyce submitted two separate applications on April 4 and April 9, 2021.
In his application, Boyce fraudulently claimed a gross income of $98,500 for 2019 even though he was in prison for the entirety of that year.
It is further alleged that as part of his applications, Boyce used his halfway house address as the business address and submitted a forged bank statement.
In early May 2021, Boyce received more than $40,700 in Covid relief loans. That month, Boyce allegedly spent the PPP loan money on purchases at Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Expedia, Hampton Inn and Delta Airlines.
Boyce is charged with four counts of wire fraud, a federal crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, announced the case, which was investigated by the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General, in coordination with U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Investigations and Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.