Grand jury: Kentucky man filed false application for $94,000 in COVID relief

Published 6:29 am Monday, August 9, 2021

A Kentucky resident has been indicted by a federal grand jury after filing a false loan application to receive coronavirus relief money.

Khaldon Esawai, of Boone County, was indicted Thursday on a charge of wire fraud, which is punishable up to 20 years in prison.

The indictment said that Esawai applied for $94,900 in coronavirus relief through a federal program that was meant to support small businesses who were negatively impacted by COVID-19.

According to the indictment, Esawai applied for the loan in August 2020 on behalf of a company called Jericho Delights, LLC. On the application, Esawai claimed the company had 14 employees and made a gross annual revenue of $352,700 in the 12 months prior the onset of the pandemic in January 2020.

The indictment claims that Esawai’s company has no employees, and made no revenue during that time.

Esawai also used an address in Camp Washington on the loan application, but according to the indictment, there is only an empty lot at the address.

There have been several allegations of fraud schemes related to COVID-19 relief programs across the county. In March, the Department of Justice announced that it had charged 474 individuals based on fraudulent schemes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic. In the release, the Department of Justice said the schemes attempted to obtain over $569 million from the federal government.