July 23, 2020
Utah Pair Indicted on Loan Fraud Charges Related to the CARES Act
On July 23, 2020, a grand jury in the U.S. District Court, District of Utah, indicted Hubert Ivan Ugarte and Lisa Bradshaw Rowberry for conspiracy, removal of property to prevent seizure, loan application fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. Ugarte is the owner of Frisbu Trucking, Inc. (Frisbu), and several other Utah-based trucking companies, and Rowberry is a Frisbu employee. The charges are related to a loan they obtained under the Payment Protection Program (PPP), a provision of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Stimulus (CARES) Act.
Previously, in October 2019, Ugarte was indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges. Relative to that indictment, the Court authorized seizure of 41 tractor trailer vehicles used by Ugarte, one of which was involved in an accident and resulted in an insurance claim check being issued. According to the July 23rd indictment, Rowberry—an employee of Ugarte’s trucking company—deposited the insurance claim check into a bank account in the name of Frisbu Trucking. The company allegedly used the funds from the claim to cover its payroll. The indictment alleges that the insurance proceeds were subject to forfeiture and that the deposit was made to prevent or impair the U.S. Government’s authority to seize the money.
In addition, in April and May 2020, Ugarte and Rowberry allegedly made or caused to be made false statements in a loan application. They applied for the loan under the PPP provision of the CARES Act. In the loan application, the defendants allegedly falsely conveyed that the business owner was not under indictment—although he had been indicted on wire fraud and money laundering charges in October 2019—and did not reveal that he had entered into a felony drug possession pretrial diversion agreement. The indictment also charged the defendants with wire fraud and money laundering related to the $210,000 payment made in relation to the PPP loan.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service.
Note: Indictments, informations, and criminal complaints are only accusations by the Government. All defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.