A release from the United States Attorney’s Office District of Utah on Thursday announced that Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry, a 49-year-old Provo woman, recently pleaded guilty for her role in a Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud scheme.
The release said that Rowberry was employed by the Frisbu trucking company, based in Salt Lake City, and owner Hubert Ivan Ugarte. Ugarte also pleaded guilty last month to PPP loan fraud and federal bribery charges involving the FedEx Ground Hub.
“According to the plea agreement, Rowberry admitted to submitting a fraudulent loan application to Transportation Alliance Bank in Ogden, Utah, for PPP loans authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, and that she fraudulently obtained $210,000 in PPP loans for Frisbu after failing to disclose on the loan application that Ugarte was under federal indictment for his role in a bribery scheme involving the FedEx Ground Hub,” the release said.
Rowberry and Ugarte reportedly met at a U.S. Bank branch in Utah, where she was working as the branch manager at the time. She then went to work for Ugarte and was reportedly aware that he was being federally indicted for the bribery scheme, which occurred in Utah.
The CARES Act was enacted on March 29, 2020, to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the Paycheck Protection Program, $349 billion in forgivable loans were made available to small businesses with more funds being authorized by Congress in April of 2020 and also in 2021.
Those PPP loans have to be used by businesses on payroll costs, mortgages, rent and utilities.
According to the release, special agents from the FBI, IRS, and the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General conducted the investigations into Rowberry and Ugarte.
Sentencing for Ugarte is scheduled for June 3 and sentencing for Rowberry is scheduled for July 7.