Federal prosecutors say a former Olympic speed skater fraudulently secured $ 10 million in COVID relief funds, using some of the money to fund a movie directed by “Lord of the Rings” actor Elijah Wood on serial killer Ted Bundy.
According to published reports, Allison Baver, 41, is accused of fraudulently filing multiple applications in April 2020 for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, claiming her eponymous entertainment company numbered as many as 430 employees and a monthly payroll of $ 4 million.
However, Utah federal prosecutors said Baver had no employees or payroll when she requested and received the money. She now faces eight counts of lying to a bank and one count of money laundering.
Baver apparently used $ 150,000 to help fund “No Man of God,” the story of a relationship between Bundy and an FBI agent. Wood, who played the agent, produced the film under his production company, Company X.
Neither Wood nor Baver had commented on the allegations on Friday afternoon (December 17).
Baver won a bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics, despite a serious leg injury the year before that nearly ended his career. She also skated in the 2002 and 2006 installments of the games. She now works as a motivational speaker, model and actress, in addition to running Allison Baver Entertainment. Baver is listed as an executive producer in the credits for “No Man of God” and played an uncredited role in the film.
Read more: FinTechs face PPP probe long after emergency commercial lending disperses
Earlier this year, the US Department of Justice announced that it was conducting a civil investigation into whether certain FinTechs made errors when distributing PPP loans.
As with the allegations against Baver, some of that money went to companies that turned out to be bogus. A FinTech, Kabbage, obtained 300,000 PPP loans and made payments to 378 companies – for a total of $ 7 million – to companies that ended up being bogus.