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Omaha nonprofit leader, candidate for Learning Community indicted in alleged fraud case

Posted at 6:15 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 19:15:03-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Brenda Banks is in charge of the nonprofit, Angels on Wheels and also notably was the top vote-getter for a seat on the Learning Community Coordinating Council, now she's accused of defrauding two state agencies and a bank.

The eight-page indictment centers Banks alleged wrongdoings around three schemes.

In total, the feds say she misused more than $200,000 out of over $460,000 of grant or loan money that would go toward Angels On Wheels, her job training nonprofit.

In the first and second scheme, she’s accused of bilking the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the Department of Environment and Energy. Prosecutors allege she falsified checks to receive reimbursement for parts of the grant money.

Banks also allegedly misused the Payment Protection Program, which is the lifeline Congress gave to businesses at the onset of the pandemic.

The feds say in that scheme, she falsified Angels on Wheels board meeting documents in order to get permission to open a bank account and apply for a PPP loan.

3 News Now attempted to call Banks on the phone number listed on her campaign filing. It went to her office and 3 News Now left a message but has not heard back.

It’s unclear if she’ll drop out of the learning community race. She has until Aug. 1 to do so. Assistant Secretary of State Wayne Bena tells 3 News Now if she were to be convicted of a felony, she’d be ineligible to serve on the Learning Community council.

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