Joliet – Prosecutors have inexplicably dropped charges against a Joliet man who is one of seven arrested so far in a police investigation into Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud.
On Tuesday, Will County Assistant District Attorney Peter Wilkes requested that PPP loan fraud charges against 18-year-old Donta Bailey of Joliet be dropped.
Bailey was accused of receiving a $20,802 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program by falsely misrepresenting gross earnings from his taxi business. He was also charged with committing state benefit fraud by fraudulently obtaining $784 in unemployment benefits.
Judge Dan Rippy granted Wilkes’ motion.
Representatives from the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to messages regarding the case Thursday.
Bailey was first charged with PPP loan fraud along with Jacques Harris, 25, Antwan Godfrey, 41, Monroe Lincoln, 25, all of Joliet, as well as Walter Duncan, 23, of Plainfield and Ronald Neal, 31 years old, from Shorewood. Cases against these other men remain active as of Thursday.
On June 29, prosecutors accused Maria Beach, 23, of Rockdale, of fraudulently obtaining a $20,790 PPP loan by falsely claiming that her unidentified business had gross 2020 revenues of $99,8000. Beach was taken to Will County Jail on Tuesday.
Bailey, Harris, Godfrey, Lincoln, Duncan, Neal and Beach were each arrested after the same Joliet police investigation, court records show. Joliet Police Sgt. Dwayne English declined to comment on the investigation as it is not complete.
The Paycheck Protection Program was created by the federal CARES Act to provide small businesses with funds to pay payroll costs, according to the US Treasury Department.
Last year, Bailey was named in a forfeiture complaint filed by Will County prosecutors against his brother, Adrian Bailey, 20, who is due to stand trial by jury Aug. 8 in his manslaughter case.
Prosecutors have sought the forfeiture of approximately $2,134 which they say was fraudulently obtained by Adrian Bailey. On February 28, Judge Ken Zelazo ruled in favor of the prosecutors and lost the money.
The forfeiture complaint detailed a Joliet police investigation into allegations of PPP loan fraud involving the Bailey brothers.
Prosecutors alleged Donta Bailey received a check from First Midwest Bank on April 21, 2021 for $21,098 from a PPP loan they believed to be fraudulent.