U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon...

U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Breon Peace. Credit: HuffPost / Brittainy Newman

A Long Island woman who is a tax preparer was indicted in Brooklyn federal court in an alleged $3.2 million Paycheck Protection Program fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Thursday.

Donna Ingram, 50, of Freeport, was charged with felony wire fraud, disaster relief fraud and theft of public funds for submitting 27 fraudulent loan applications between May 2020 and May 2021 on behalf of companies she owned and 22 others who compensated her with kickbacks totaling more than $425,000, according to a news release. The applications made false claims about company revenue, payroll expenses and staffing levels, federal prosecutors said.

“The defendant made a business out of defrauding the government by falsely claiming that she and others needed government loan benefits to pay their employees during the pandemic,” Breon Peace, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York,” said in a statement. “This money was meant to help businesses weather the pandemic. In reality, the defendant was lining her own pockets.”

In one instance, a business identified as “Subject Business-3" in court records received $300,000 total for two separate PPP applications and the owner paid Ingram approximately $50,500, prosecutors said. In the two applications, Ingram gave different 2019 revenue numbers for the same company, prosecutors said.

Ingram was referred to as “the guru,” by one business owner involved in the scheme, court records show. Only about $113,000 of the $3.28 million was for Ingram's businesses, the indictment states.

Federal law enforcement officials said the relief funds were intended to benefit the “well-meaning public.”

“The defendant’s alleged crimes were anything but victimless, and robbed small businesses — the backbone of this country — of critical resources,” Homeland Security Investigations New York Special Agent in Charge Ivan J. Arvelo said in a statement.

Ingram, who is expected to be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sanket J. Bulsara Thursday afternoon, faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted at trial, prosecutors said. Arraignment information was not available as of Thursday evening.

Assistant United States Attorney Sean M. Sherman is leading the prosecution for the office's General Crimes Section.

Hamptons drowning … Concerns over LIPA's future … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Updated 4 minutes ago Primary day ... Port Washington retirement community ... NY Rise win ... Paralympic gold medalist

Hamptons drowning … Concerns over LIPA's future … Paralympic gold medalist Credit: Newsday

Updated 4 minutes ago Primary day ... Port Washington retirement community ... NY Rise win ... Paralympic gold medalist

Latest videos

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME