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Woman admits to $43M COVID relief fraud scheme

Scheme garnered more than $43 million

An Oklahoma woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Buffalo to a scheme to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of over $43.8 million in COVID-19 relief loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Prosecutors say Amanda J. Gloria, 45, admitted that she conspired to submit at least 153 fraudulent PPP applications seeking a total of about $43.8 million on behalf of at least 111 entities between May 2020 and June 2021.

Gloria admitted that she falsified or helped with falsifying information on the loan applications, including the number of employees, payroll expenses and documentation, and federal tax filings.

In total, the recipients unlawfully obtained about $32.5 million in PPP funds, including about $1.7 million personally received.

Gloria also admitted that she conspired with Adam D. Arena to submit a fraudulent PPP loan application seeking approximately $954,000 for ADA Auto Group LLC, an inactive Florida-based business owned and controlled by Arena.

After fraudulently obtaining the loan, Gloria directed Arena to transfer nearly $25,000 to a bank account for WildWest Trucking LLC, an Oklahoma-based business owned by Gloria.

She also admitted to fraudulently obtaining a separate PPP loan for WildWest Trucking LLC for about $421,000.

Arena pleaded guilty in November 2021 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived proceeds in a related case.

Gloria is scheduled to be sentenced on July 20 and faces up to 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and up to 10 years for money laundering.