Holland man indicted for fraudulently seeking coronavirus relief funds

Allison Dunn, The Blade, Toledo, Ohio
·2 min read

May 4—A Holland man is accused of leading five others in fraudulently seeking $9 million in coronavirus relief funding through a purported church, according to a federal indictment.

Terrence L. Pounds, 44, of Holland, as well as Charles B. Tiller, III, 37, of Columbus; Randolph Nunn, 48, of Canton; Terri Davis, 30, of Old Hickory, Tenn.; Samira Abdul-Karim, 27, of New Haven, Conn.; and Quwan Simmons, 28, of Hartford, are accused of scheming to fraudulently obtain money from the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, according to the indictment unsealed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Toledo.

The allegations stem from March 31 through Dec. 17, 2020.

The SBA approved about $3.3 million in the fraudulent loan funds from its Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, the indictment states.

"COVID-19 relief funds are intended to support hardworking Americans and small businesses struggling with financial challenges as a result of the pandemic," Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget M. Brennan said in a statement. "The U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to pursuing anyone alleged to have fraudulently obtained relief funding."

On Tuesday, Pounds pleaded not guilty to the nine counts of wire fraud, four counts of engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from criminal activity, and a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was released on a $50,000 unsecured bond, and attorney Bradley Iams was retained to represent him.

Pounds is accused of recruiting the others to provide him with their personal identifying information, which he then used to apply for the federal loans in their names. He claimed the five men each operated a nonprofit that was a "faith-based organization" and a "church" with $1 million in revenue and 15 employees.

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"We feed the less fortunate and underprivileged, we visit the prisons, we have 24 hours per day and 7 days per week phone line open for prayers and counseling. We have church services twice per week," Pounds claimed in the loan application.

The co-conspirators allegedly paid Pounds a portion of the fraudulent loan funds they received.

On May 22, 2020, the SBA funded an EIDL loan for Truth Ministries Global Inc. in the amount of $147,900.

The four monetary-transaction counts allude to allegations Pounds used portions of the loan proceeds and payments from others to buy a 2021 Chevrolet Tahoe, a 2021 Kia Telluride, a 2020 Hyundai Elantra, and a 2020 BMW X4, according to the indictment.

In 2006, Pounds was sentenced 44 months — or more than 3 1/2 years — in federal prison for possession of about 1 kilogram of cocaine with intent to distribute.

First Published May 4, 2021, 11:59am