March 26, 2024

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Money is one of the main things businesses and people needed to survive through the pandemic.

Mohammed “Mo” Sloan is the CEO and founder of EZ-Chow, a digital ordering company that gets rid of third-parties for restaurants and hospitality organizations.

The PPP loan he obtained legally helped keep his business afloat during the pandemic.

“People took advantage of companies, especially small businesses, by taking funds that weren’t applied for them or applicable for them,” Sloan said.

EZ-Chow serves more than 200 companies across the county and has about seven employees. He was able to receive the PPP loan during both rounds.

“Any additional funding we can get that helps tremendously,” Sloan said. “Was it enough? Not really.”

Businesses walked away with billions in funding, however, some of those businesses are not real.

Like 49-year-old Randall Blankenship’s fake payroll scheme with his Woodford County business that stole $1,323,829. The U.S. Department of Justice said he’s facing 20 years in prison.

Karenda Vaughn from Laurel County is also facing 22 years in prison for COVID fraud.

Dave Christopher is the founder of the Russell Tech Business Incubator and helps minority businesses get past financial roadblocks.

“I’m not surprised… it was ripe for fraud,” Christopher said. “The system was set up for those who could figure out how to manipulate it. Businesses are struggling and you hear the calvary is coming, and then the…

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