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EDMOND, OKLA (Free Press) — Thursday, Jill Nicole Ford, 31, of Edmond, Oklahoma pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and money laundering according to information released by the office of U.S. Attorney Robert J. Troester, Western District of Oklahoma.

The charges were for Ford’s misuse of a federal pandemic relief program loan that was supposed to be used only for working capital and payroll of her business Oliver & Olivia Apparel, Inc.

She used the money instead to build a new home and buy a luxury car.

Ford now faces the possibility of being sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and a one-million-dollar fine for the bank fraud offense, plus another 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the money laundering charge. Also, she may be sentenced to up to five years of supervised release following her imprisonment.

As a part of the plea deal, Ford “agreed the court will enter a restitution order in the amount of $252,143.35.”

Formal sentencing is expected to take place in about 90 days.

The loan was arranged through Citizens Bank of Edmond on September 11, 2020.

“She also falsely represented she would not make financial distributions to herself as the owner of Oliver & Olivia Apparel, Inc.,” said the U.S. Attorney’s statement. “The information further alleged that Ford laundered the loan proceeds by using them to pay for construction of her personal home.  Other loan funds were used to purchase a luxury SUV for Ford’s personal use.”

According to a report by KFOR news, Ford’s former employees now say that Ford owes them for back pay.

The Main Street Lending Program is “a lending facility established by the Federal Reserve Board and supported with funding authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)” according to the U.S. Attorney.

The investigation was carried out by the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), the Oklahoma City FBI Field Office, the Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigations, the United States Secret Service, the Federal Reserve Board Office of Inspector General, and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General. 

Last Updated January 23, 2022, 9:32 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor