News - Joliet and Will County

Will County prosecutors drop PPP loan fraud charges against Joliet man

Joliet — Prosecutors inexplicably dropped charges against a Joliet man who’s one of seven arrested thus far in police probe into Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud.

On Tuesday, Will County Assistant State’s Attorney Peter Wilkes motioned to drop the PPP loan fraud charges against Donta Bailey, 18, of Joliet.

Bailey was charged with receiving a $20,802 loan through the Paycheck Protection Program by falsely misrepresenting the gross revenues of his taxi business. He was also charged with committing state benefits fraud by fraudulently obtaining $784 in unemployment benefits.

Judge Dan Rippy granted Wilkes’ motion.

Representatives of the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office did not immediately respond to messages about the case on Thursday.

Bailey initially was 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, of Shorewood. The cases against those other men remain active as of Thursday.

On June 29, prosecutors charged Maria Beach, 23, of Rockdale, with fraudulently obtaining a $20,790 PPP loan by falsely claiming her unidentified business had gross revenues of $99,8000 in 2020. Beach was taken to the Will County jail on Tuesday.

Maria Beach

Bailey, Harris, Godfrey, Lincoln, Duncan, Neal and Beach each were arrested after the same Joliet police investigation, court records show. Joliet police Sgt. Dwayne English has declined to comment on the investigation because it is not finished.

The Paycheck Protection Program was established by the federal CARES Act to provide small businesses with funds to pay payroll costs, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Last year, Bailey was named in a forfeiture complaint filed by Will County prosecutors against his brother, Adrian Bailey, 20, who is scheduled for an Aug. 8 jury trial in his involuntary manslaughter case.

Adrian Bailey

Prosecutors sought forfeiture of about $2,134 that they alleged was fraudulently obtained by Adrian Bailey. On Feb. 28, Judge Ken Zelazo ruled in favor of prosecutors and forfeited the money.

The forfeiture complaint detailed a Joliet police investigation regarding allegations of PPP loan fraud that involved the Bailey brothers.

Prosecutors alleged Donta Bailey received a check from First Midwest Bank on April 21, 2021 in the amount of $21,098 from a PPP loan they believed to be fraudulent.