PROVO, Utah — A Provo woman pleads guilty to her role in a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud scheme.
Owner and employee plead guilty and await sentencing
A statement released last week by the Utah District of the United States Attorney’s Office said Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry, 49, was employed by trucking company Frisbu.
That company’s owner, Hubert Ivan Ugarte, 52, also pleaded guilty last month to PPP loan fraud and federal bribery charges involving the FedEx Ground Hub.
The statement said “according to the plea agreement, Rowberry admitted to submitting a fraudulent loan application to Transportation Alliance Bank in Ogden, Utah, for PPP loans authorized by the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, and that she fraudulently obtained $210,000 in PPP loans for Frisbu after failing to disclose on the loan application that Ugarte was under federal indictment for his role in a bribery scheme involving the FedEx Ground Hub.
Bribery Scheme Earns Truck Owner About $24 Million
It was previously discovered that Ugarte paid $490,000 to a senior FedEx executive in the Salt Lake City hub to get preferential treatment for delivery routes for which he would not have qualified under the shipping company’s policies.
Eventually, the “oversizing” program earned his trucking companies $24 million over a seven-year period.
In May 2020, Ugarte received $210,000 from the Transportation Alliance Bank under the PPP. As part of his loan application, he had agreed that at least three quarters of the money would be used for payroll purposes. Instead, he spent about 60% of the funds on late truck payments.
Special agents from the FBI, IRS and the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General led the investigations into Rowberry and Ugarte, the statement said.
Ugarte’s sentencing is set for June 3, while Rowberry’s will take place on July 7.