U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans today announced the indictment of Sharnae Every, 27, of Houston, charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and two counts of mail fraud.
The case against each began following a referral from the Accountability Committee in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic regarding possible fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans. Investigators determined that there were at least 110 PPP sole proprietor loan applications in and around the Thibodeaux area and that they all had the same federal tax bills and forms with the same business name and amounts.
According to the indictment, Every created a fictitious business called “Natural Hair Afro, LLC, Houma, LA 70360” and used this fictitious business name on nearly all fraudulent PPP loan applications. Each advertisement under various aliases on Facebook to recruit individuals to obtain money from the PPP program. All fake and fraudulent PPP Sole Proprietor Loan applications prepared and submitted through various online portals including but not limited to Blueacorn. Each created all fake and fraudulent invoices, bank statements and schedules. Each falsely certified that the applications and information provided in the supporting documents were true and accurate when electronically submitting the fraudulent PPP loan applications.
Each charged $45 to $120 from the people they recruited to prepare and submit the fraudulent PPP application. Each Cash app primarily used to receive initial payments. Each then charged around $3,500 once the loans were funded. Each received these funds in her Cash App account or in her boyfriend’s checking account.
If convicted, Every faces a maximum sentence of 20 years, followed by a period of supervised release of up to three years, a fine of up to $250,000, or double the gross gain for the defendant, or double the gross loss for any victim, and a mandatory special assessment fee of $100.00, per count.