West Bloomfield couple charged with defrauding Paycheck Protection Program

Amelia Benavides-Colón
The Detroit News

Lansing — A West Bloomfield couple faces several charges after allegedly working together to submit multiple fraudulent loan applications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to the Michigan Attorney General's Office.

Adebowale Ajagbe, 46, and Tracy Hall, 38 were arraigned Friday morning in Oakland County's 46th District Court. They both received a $50,000 personal bond, according to the statement.

Ajagbe is charged with two counts of false pretenses, $20,000 less than $50,000, a 15-year felony; two counts of using a computer to commit a crime, a 10-year felony; two counts of uttering and publishing, a14-year felony; and conspiracy to commit false pretenses, a 15-year felony. 

Ajabe is accused of applying for and receiving $47,5000 in PPP funds at the beginning of May 2020 after claiming in a loan application that he had eight employees and a monthly payroll of $19,000 connected to a company called Zuvan Technologies, the Attorney General's Office said. 

The Department learned there were no unemployment payroll withholdings for anyone associated with the company, said the statement. 

Tracy Hall, 38, is charged with one count of false pretenses $20,000 less than $50,000, a 15-year felony; one count of using a computer to commit a crime contrary, a 10-year felony; one count of uttering and publishing, a 14-year felony.; and conspiracy to commit false pretenses, a 15-year felony. 

Hall is accused of applying for $52,000 in PPP funds at the end of June 2020 on behalf of DND Global Marketing. Hall secured $49,010 despite the company having no employees and a business registration that lapsed after having no annual filing since 2010, the statement said.

At the end of July 2020, Ajagbe is accused of securing $49,165 in PPP funds for a third business that had dissolved in 2008. 

Ajagbe and Hall are scheduled for a probable cause conference May 25 and preliminary exam June 1 in front of Judge Diane D’Agostini. 

“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,” Attorney General Dana Nessel said in the statement. “My office will not tolerate attempts to take advantage of those funds when so many continue to struggle to make ends meet right now.” 

The Paycheck Protection Program was launched as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic's impact on the workforce and provides small business with loans to keep their workers on payroll.