Provo woman pleads guilty to fraud in PPP loan application

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PROVO, Utah – A woman from Provo pleads guilty to her role in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud program.

Both owner and employee plead guilty and await conviction

A statement released last week by the Utah District Attorney’s Office said Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry, 49, was employed by the Frisbu trucking company.

The owner of the company, Hubert Ivan Ugarte, 52, also pleaded guilty last month to PPP loan fraud and federal corruption charges involving the FedEx Ground Hub.

The statement said, “According to the plea deal, Rowberry admitted to submitting a fraudulent loan application to the Transportation Alliance Bank in Ogden, Utah, for PPP loans authorized by Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security. Act (CARES), and that she fraudulently obtained $ 210,000 in PPP loans for Frisbu after failing to disclose on the loan application that Ugarte was indicted by the federal government for his role in a bribery scheme involving the FedEx Ground Hub.

Corruption program brings in around $ 24 million for truck owner

It was previously discovered that Ugarte paid $ 490,000 to a senior FedEx executive at the Salt Lake City hub to obtain preferential treatment for delivery routes he could not have claimed under the policies of the shipping company.

Ultimately, the “over-sizing” program brought in $ 24 million to its trucking companies over a seven-year period.

In May 2020, Ugarte received $ 210,000 from the Transportation Alliance Bank as part of the PPP. As part of the loan application, he had agreed that at least three-quarters of the money would be used for payroll purposes. Instead, he spent around 60% of the funds on overdue truck payments.

Special agents from the FBI, IRS and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General investigated Rowberry and Ugarte, the statement said.

Sentencing for Ugarte is set for June 3, while sentencing for Rowberry is July 7.


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