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Ohio woman accused of faking link to Dayton restaurant in $1.9M pandemic loan fraud

Legal Gavel & Closed Law Book

An Ohio women was indicted on charges accusing her of fraudulently receiving more than $1.9 million total in COVID-relief, after faking an affiliation with the Flying Pizza restaurants in Dayton, Centerville and Fairborn.

According to the indictment, Lorie Schaefer, 62, of Westerville, opened new bank accounts in December 2020 prior to registering a fictitious business name in March 2021.

When notified that a PPP loan for nearly $1.9 million had been filed in the name of Flying Pizza, the family-owned business said their restaurants could not justify such a large loan, according to the U.S. Attorney of the Southern District of Ohio.

The indictment said Schaefer claimed to have 98 employees and allegedly submitted altered bank records as part of her application. She also claimed not to be under indictment despite having pending theft charges in Meigs County, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a press release.

The press release said that evidence suggests Schaefer improperly used the money for a $10,000 check for a “newborn baby gift,” more than $900,000 to purchase and renovate a condo in Westerville, a property in Australia, and other expenses.

Schaefer is also accused of helping co-defendant Latisha Holloway, 42, of Reynoldsburg, in fraudulently receiving more than $980,000 in PPP loans. Holloway allegedly claimed to own a business called Jaguar Logistics, LLC.

The indictment charges each woman with two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.