Downtown Brooklyn

Former bank vice president convicted for stealing funds from COVID financial relief programs

June 20, 2024 Brooklyn Eagle Staff
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DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — A FEDERAL JURY IN BROOKLYN CONVICTED the former vice president and manager of a New York branch of Popular Bank on all counts of an indictment. She was charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy. The verdict reached on Tuesday, June 18, followed a one-week trial of the defendant, Anuli Okeke, before U.S. District Judge Frederic Block. The charges arose from the defendant’s scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As proven at trial, Okeke and her co-conspirators, both from within and outside the bank, fabricated loan and tax documents and stole funds from the PPP and EIDL programs.  She helped applicants make false statements and signed each PPP loan application on behalf of the bank, submitting them for approval.  After the loan proceeds were disbursed, Okeke and her co-conspirators took kickbacks. Okeke also submitted a fraudulent EIDL loan containing false information and took unauthorized commissions from legitimate PPP recipients.

Before the defendant’s conviction at trial, seven other co-conspirators pled guilty to wire and bank fraud conspiracy in connection with the defendant.

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