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Oakland County couple accused of defrauding Payroll Protection Program

Paycheck Protection Program fraud
Paycheck Protection Program fraud
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 12:52 PM EDT
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WEST BLOOMFIELD, Mich. (WJRT) - A couple from Oakland County is accused of defrauding the federal Payroll Protection Program to obtain thousands of dollars worth of forgivable loans.

The Michigan Attorney General’s Office announced charges against 46-year-old Adebowale Ajagbe and 38-year-old Tracey Hall. Ajagbe is accused of obtaining over $96,000 for two companies while Hall is accused of obtaining $52,000 for a third company.

The Payroll Protection Program was part of the first federal COVID-19 stimulus bill passed in April 2020. It offered employers loans to keep workers on their payroll with a promise of forgiving the loan later if businesses met certain requirements.

Investigators say Ajagbe received $47,500 for a company called Zuvan Technologies by claiming he had eight employees and a payroll of $19,000 per month. However, prosecutors say no unemployment payroll withholdings were ever located for anyone at that business.

Ajagbe later received over $49,000 for a company called Mercury Financial Corp., but that company dissolved in 2008.

Hall applied for a $52,000 loan in June for company called DND Global Marketing, claiming she had 15 employees and a monthly payroll of $20,800. However, investigators say the company actually has no employees and its business registration apparently lapsed in 2010.

“Financial relief offered to struggling businesses caught up in the devastation created by COVID-19 has been a lifeline to countless Michiganders and people across the country as we continue to navigate this pandemic,” Nessel said. “My office will not tolerate attempts to take advantage of those funds when so many continue to struggle to make ends meet right now.”

Ajagbe was arraigned on the following charges:

  • two counts of false pretenses of $20,000 to $50,000.
  • two counts of using a computer to commit a crime.
  • two counts of uttering and publishing.
  • conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

Hall was arraigned on the following charges:

  • one count of false pretenses of $20,000 to $50,000.
  • one count of using a computer to commit a crime.
  • one count of uttering and publishing.
  • conspiracy to commit false pretenses.

Both Ajagbe and Hall were released from custody on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond after arraignment in Oakland County District Court. They are scheduled to appear in court again on May 25 and June 1.

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