Ex-Olympian Allison Marie Baver Charged with Falsely Receiving $10M in COVID-19 Funds

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2021

BEIJING, CHINA - DECEMBER 11: Visitors walk near a column with the Olympic Rings as they visit the top level of the Olympic Tower in the Olympic Green near the National Stadium, also known as the Bird's Nest, on December 11, 2021 in Beijing, China. The area will host a number of events for the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic Games, including the opening ceremonies, which is set to open on February 4, 2022. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Former United States Olympic speedskater Allison Marie Baver has been charged with money laundering and eight separate counts of making a false statement to a bank, according to Joshua Rhett Miller of the New York Post, after fraudulently receiving over $10 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

Per that report, "Prosecutors said Baver submitted eight Paycheck Protection Program loan applications in April 2020 seeking $10 million for her entertainment firm. In each request, Baver said her average monthly payroll was as much as $4.7 million, but she actually had no payroll at all, court documents show."

Baver had claimed she employed between 100 and 430 people, though federal prosecutors said that she employed no one.

Of the $10 million she received, $150,000 was given to the production company for the film No Man of God, a film about serial killer Ted Bundy that stars Elijah Wood.

Baver retired from speedskating in 2017 and launched Allison Baver Entertainment, a production company, two years later. In 2020, she told the Salt Lake Tribune she had "several projects in development" and each needed a "substantial number of employees."

"Due to the need for large crews in close proximity, these types of productions have been particularly disrupted by the pandemic, and we recognize our responsibility to put these professionals back to work as soon and as safely as possible," she added at the time. "We hope to set a good example as the entertainment industry gets back on its feet."

Baver, 41, won a bronze medal at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver as part of the United States' 3,000-meter women's relay team. She also competed at the 2002 and 2006 Olympics.