Olympic Medalist Charged With $10M PPP Loan Fraud

Speed skater Allison Baver allegedly used some of the funds to invest in an Elijah Wood film
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 20, 2021 7:53 AM CST
Olympic Medalist Charged With $10M PPP Loan Fraud
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/Bene_A)

(Newser) – A Utah speed skater who picked up a bronze medal at the 2010 Olympics and participated in the two Winter Games before that has been indicted and charged with making false statements to get her hands on millions in COVID relief loans. Per a release from the US Attorney's Office for the District of Utah, Allison Baver, 41, was hit with nine federal criminal counts over her alleged defrauding of the US government to obtain $10 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, reports ABC4.

According to the indictment, Baver submitted eight PPP loan applications between mid- to late April of 2020 on behalf of her company, Allison Baver Entertainment LLC, which notes on its site that it's "the engine behind stories that move the needle" and "purpose-driven across film, television, and lifestyle endeavors." Baver allegedly claimed on her loan applications that ABE had between 100 and 430 employees—the court documents say she had zero—and that the company's average monthly payroll was between $4,000,000 and $4,769,583, which the indictment says was also zero.

The court documents note that Baver did receive from Meridian Bank the $10 million in PPP funds that she sought, which she promptly socked away in a different bank account than the one that received the funds. FOX 13 reports that she used a portion to invest in No Man of God, a film about Ted Bundy starring Elijah Wood, in which Baver played a small uncredited part. Per records seen by FOX, Baver funneled $150,000 to the film's production company.

Baver was charged with eight counts of making a false statement to a bank, as well as one count of money laundering. A US Attorney for Utah says she could see 10 years behind bars for the money laundering, and 30 years for the bank fraud. Baver is next set to appear in court for her arraignment on Jan. 18. The government, meanwhile, wants back about $9.7 million of the money Baver received. (Read more speed skating stories.)

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