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Home » News » New Jersey man gets prison sentence for COVID-19 fraud scheme in New York

New Jersey man gets prison sentence for COVID-19 fraud scheme in New York

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  • Staff Report 

James Okolo, a 61-year-old resident of West Orange, New Jersey, was sentenced to one year in prison for his involvement in a COVID-19 fraud case. Convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Okolo was part of a scheme that aimed to deceitfully obtain over $700,000 in funds from the Small Business Administration, which were intended to aid businesses impacted by the pandemic. The fraudulent activity involved submitting false Economic Injury Disaster loan applications for various businesses.

U.S. District Judge John L. Sinatra, Jr. handed down the sentence, highlighting the gravity of exploiting federal assistance programs designed to support the economy during the COVID-19 crisis. Okolo’s specific role in the fraud was identifying a bank account for the deposit of the ill-gotten loan proceeds, illustrating a deliberate effort to undermine financial relief efforts.

The conviction and sentencing of Okolo are the outcomes of thorough investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations. This case underscores the federal government’s commitment to prosecuting those who illegally benefit from programs meant to assist those genuinely in need during challenging times.