Woman headed to prison for fraud obtained COVID-relief loan

Woman headed to prison for fraud obtained COVID-relief loan
CHICAGO (AP) — An Illinois woman facing incarceration for stealing millions of dollars through her boyfriend’s business credit card allegedly obtained a pandemic relief loan as she prepared to report to prison, the U.S. attorney’s office in Chicago revealed Monday.

A U.S. District Court judge was asked by federal prosecutors to revoke the bond of Crystal Lundberg, who they say illegally obtained a $150,000 pandemic-relief loan. Prosecutors allege in a court filing that Lundberg, 34, lied on applications for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application and failed to disclose her fraud conviction or her prison sentence. Charges have yet to be filed against Lundberg.

The federal loan, which was disbursed in September, was to be used to keep a beauty salon Lundberg owned solvent during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Lundberg spent the money on trips, electronics, clothing and legal bills, prosecutors allege. An FBI search of the bank account where the funds were sent had been drained of funds, prosecutors said.

Lundberg was sentenced last year to 52 months in prison for racking up nearly $5.8 million in charges on luxury items on the France-based drug delivery firm Nemera corporate credit card of Scott Kennedy.

Prosecutors said the couple spent much of the money after Lundberg moved in 2016 with her children and pets to San Diego. Nemera unwittingly footed her $12,000-a-month rent for a 7,000-square-foot mansion. Lundberg also spent about $585,000 on a failed medical spa, cars, jewelry and trips.

Kennedy, who was fired from his job as manager for Nemera’s Buffalo Grove plant, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and agreed to cooperate with the government. He received a 25-month prison sentence.

Lundberg was scheduled to report to prison on Dec. 31. An attorney for Lundberg is arranging for her surrender, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Nicholas Eichenseer. The attorney was not immediately available for comment.

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