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Owner of local marketing business to pay quarter of a million dollars for committing COVID relief fraud
A Columbus woman was sentenced in federal court here today and ordered to pay a fine of $250,000, the maximum amount allowed by law, for committing COVID relief fraud. In addition to her fine, she was ordered to pay more than $128,000 in restitution.
Janet Jenison, 38, was convicted of three counts of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement on a Paycheck Protection Program loan application.
Jenison was charged by bill of information in May 2021 and pleaded guilty in July 2021.
According to court documents, Jenison submitted three fraudulent applications to obtain Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, created by the CARES Act, for Janet Minton Marketing, LLC, a business registered in her maiden name. The applications collectively sought $298,719.67 in fraudulent loans. Two of the applications were approved and a financial institution disbursed $160,247.
In support of the three applications, Jenison created false Fifth Third Bank account statements for her business for the period Feb. 8, 2020 to March 6, 2020. The bank statements showed debits for payroll, tax withholding and business expenses. The business account at Fifth Third Bank was not opened until April 27, 2020.
Jenison also submitted false tax documents. One document claimed she elected for her marketing business to be classified as a corporation and was dated Jan. 24, 2020, but the employer identification number on the form was not created until four months later. The defendant also made false claims about federal employment tax deposits.
Jenison was interviewed by law enforcement in March 2021 and she admitted to creating the false documents submitted in support of the applications.
As part of her sentence, Jenison was ordered to pay $128,783.04 in restitution and to serve five years of probation, including six months of home confinement.
Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Bryant Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, Cincinnati Field Office; and officials with the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration announced the sentence imposed today by Chief U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley. Assistant United States Attorney Peter K. Glenn-Applegate is representing the United States in this case.
[Source: DOJ, U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio, Columbus, 01Dec21]
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