Omaha Man Sentenced for COVID-19 Relief Program Fraud

In a significant legal development, Richard L. Kelly, a 61-year-old resident of Omaha, Nebraska, faced sentencing in federal court for wire fraud related to COVID-19 relief programs. The case sheds light on fraudulent activities surrounding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) loans, which were established to provide emergency financial assistance during the pandemic.

The Deceptive Applications

During 2020 and 2021, Kelly, assisted by another individual, submitted applications for PPP and EIDL loans. These applications misrepresented critical information about Kelly’s business, including employee compensation and revenue. As a result, the loans sought were significantly inflated, totaling approximately $675,094. However, Kelly ultimately received only $189,997.

Pandemic relief

Sentencing and Restitution

United States District Court Judge Brian C. Buescher sentenced Kelly to 5 years’ probation. Additionally, Kelly was ordered to pay $196,029.15 in restitution, reflecting the balance remaining after a partial payment of $9,831.00 was applied before sentencing. As part of his probation, Kelly must contribute at least $1,000 per month toward restitution.

The Larger Context

This case highlights the importance of vigilance in administering relief programs. The COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, established by the Attorney General, aims to prevent and combat pandemic-related fraud. By investigating and prosecuting fraudulent actors, the task force safeguards relief funds and ensures their proper distribution.


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