Feds: Ex-escort sentenced in $6 million fraud illegally obtained pandemic-relief loan while awaiting prison

Jason Meisner, Chicago Tribune
·2 min read

A former escort convicted in $6 million fraud scheme illegally obtained a $150,000 pandemic-relief loan while she was awaiting the deadline to report to federal prison, prosecutors alleged Monday.

Crystal Lundberg was sentenced last year to 52 months behind bars for her conviction for racking up millions of dollars in charges — including trips, jewelry and even breast implants — after her onetime boyfriend gave her access to his corporate credit card.

She had been scheduled to report to prison on Dec. 31. But in a court filing Monday, prosecutors asked a federal judge to revoke her bond, saying she lied on applications for a federal Paycheck Protection Loan and failed to disclose her federal fraud conviction or that she was about to begin serving a prison term.

The $150,000 loan, which was disbursed in September, was purportedly to keep a beauty salon Lundberg owned afloat during the COVID-19 crisis. Instead, Lundberg spend the money on trips, electronics, clothing and legal bills, according to prosecutors.

The FBI executed a search warrant on Nov. 5 on the bank account where the funds were sent, but by then the money had been drained, prosecutors said.

Lundberg’s attorney was making arrangements to have her surrender at some point Monday, according to the prosecution filing. Her attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lundberg and her onetime boyfriend, Scott Kennedy, a former Buffalo Grove executive, were charged in 2017 in the credit card scam, the details of which the Tribune has previously reported.

In November 2015, Kennedy gave Lundberg access to a company credit card, authorities said. In less than two years, the pair racked up $5.8 million in charges to the France-based drug delivery firm Nemera, where Kennedy was a top financial official.

Much of the spending came after Lundberg moved in 2016 with her children and pets to San Diego. The company unwittingly footed her $12,000-a-month rent for a mansion, according to evidence presented at trial.

While in California, Lundberg spent about $585,000 in a failed attempt to open a medical spa, called the Royalty Room. Additional expenses included two Rolex watches at a combined cost of $60,000, a personal driver for $8,000 a month and two purebred dogs that cost as much as $6,000, according to the prosecution.

She also flew to Miami in 2016 to have breast implants and liposuction done by a surgeon she found on YouTube, prosecutors said.

A federal jury convicted Lundberg of multiple counts of wire fraud in May 2019.

Kennedy was fired from his $175,000-a-year job as manager for Nemera’s Buffalo Grove plant after the fraud was discovered. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in 2018 and agreed to cooperate against Lundberg.

jmeisner@chicagotribune.com

———

©2020 the Chicago Tribune

Visit the Chicago Tribune at www.chicagotribune.com

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.