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Life Imitates Art: Tyler Perry’s ‘Madea Goes to Jail’ Actress and Other Celebrities Indicted on Charges of PPP Loan Fraud

One of the actresses from Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail” has been charged with fraud by the U.S. Department of Justice. The movie star joins several other high-profile people among 19 people accused in federal indictments of cheating the government out of millions in schemes that all originated in Georgia.

According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, actress Ion Overman is connected in federal fraud charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia after working with Mark C. Mason Jr., an Atlanta businessman handling her finances.

NEW YORK – FEBRUARY 18: Director Tyler Perry attends the premiere of “Tyler Perry’s Madea Goes to Jail” at the AMC Loews Lincoln Center on February 18, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)

Overman is known for several television and film projects that include the soap opera “Port Charles,” the hit evening drama “Desperate Housewives,” “Ghost Whisperer,” “Two and a Half Men,” “NCIS” and Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes to Jail.” Despite her hefty résumé, an indictment states that she conspired with Mason to unlawfully get Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans during the onset of the economically crippling coronavirus pandemic.

It is alleged that Mason made fake versions of IRS Form 941 documents, a form to show Employer’s Quarterly Federal Tax Return and used to report taxes withheld from employees’ paychecks and to pay the employer’s portion of Social Security and Medicare, with falsified payroll numbers on them. 

He would then submit the filings to an approved PPP lender. 

Actress Ion Overman attends a cocktail party celebrating dynamic and diverse nominees for the 67th Emmy Awards hosted by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and SAG-AFTRA at Montage Beverly Hills on August 27, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Overman was not the only celebrity that Mason worked with. One of Master P and Lil Romeo’s music producers, Carlos “Clos” Stephens, was listed in the indictment. Actor Dale Godboldo and media personality Marvin Lewton (p.k.a. OG Shadi Powers) were also named. 

Details about Mason’s involvement note that he charged his clients a “success fee” between 2 percent to 5 percent for each loan he was able to secure. He also secured fraudulent PPP loans for himself. Two of Mason’s companies, Atlanta Business Capital and Advocate Business Capital, are named in the charges. Documents say that the businessman received almost $600,000 in loans for these businesses.

Overman is a native Los Angeles and was raised by a Black mother and a white father. She graduated from the University of California and started working as an actor in 1995.

While she has not given a formal statement, she is keeping herself motivated by hanging out in New York City and posting positive notes of affirmation on social media. As her weekly #MidWeekInspiration, she wrote, “Art offers an opening for the heart. True art makes the divine silence in the soul. Break into applause.”

This is more upbeat than last week’s IG note, “I wish I could show you, when you are lonely or in darkness, the astonishing light of your own being.”

She, nor any of the others named in the indictment, have commented on the charges.

Federal prosecutors are cracking down on Americans who tried to cheat the COVID relief program.  

Pretty Ricky rapper Diamond “Baby Blue Whoaaa” Smith was recently sentenced to 20 months in prison for PPP loan fraud.


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