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DIGGING DEEPER: Parkview Health says second PPP loan fraudulently sought in its name

PPP and Parkview Health logos

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) - For the second time in as many months, the region's largest health care provider has shown up on the list of businesses approved for a forgivable "Paycheck Protection Program" loan.

And for the second time, Parkview Health System is reporting that as a case of suspected fraud.

ABC21 has been Digging Deeper into the effort by someone -- or by multiple parties -- to secure funding using the Parkview Health name.

In early April, we reported on the approval of a $1.14 million "loan" to be administered via Itria Ventures LLC., one of the most active PPP lenders.

When notified by ABC21 of the matter, Parkview Health investigated and determined no one with the organization had applied.

A spokesperson said that Parkview Health reported the application as a case of suspected fraud.

Now, the health care group is looking into a second such case.

New data shows approval of a new PPP loan -- for nearly $461,000 -- through California-based Harvest Small Business Finance, LLC.

Parkview Health has twice been approved for Paycheck Protection Program funds -- though it has never applied for them and does not qualify

Parkview again reviewed the situation and told ABC21 on Friday:

“Parkview Health has not applied for any PPP loans, including this most recent one, which has also been reported to the Department of Justice and the Small Business Administration as suspected fraud.”

The SBA has provided periodic updates to PPP data, including the recent one that includes the new Parkview Health loan approval.

The nonprofit newsroom ProPublica, with which ABC21 has collaborated, sorts and presents that information on a searchable web page.

It shows 10.7 million loans have been approved since the launch of the program.

It's not clear how or how often someone has obtained PPP funds by falsely representing a business or nonprofit organization.

However, the Department of Justice has been actively pursuing fraud cases.

In many, individuals misrepresent the specifics of their business to obtain money, "make up" a company that doesn't exist or use money obtained through the program for personal extravagance.

On Wednesday, the DOJ announced a six-year sentence for a Florida man who fraudulently obtained $3.9 million in PPP loans.

David T. Hines, 29, of Miami, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on Feb. 10 after he submitted multiple PPP applications to a lender, claiming dozens of employees and millions of dollars in monthly payroll.

Hines also assisted other individuals in obtaining fraudulent PPP loans. As part of the sentence, the court ordered Hines to forfeit the $3.4 million in fraudulent loan proceeds that law enforcement seized and the 2020 Lamborghini Huracan that he bought for $318,000.

Jonathan Shelley

Jonathan Shelley is the news director at WPTA TV, which he joined in 2016 following nine years in a similar role in New Orleans and previous news management positions in Oklahoma City and Las Vegas.

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