A one-time Winter Olympic speed skater found herself in hot water today when she was charged with defrauding the federal government of $10 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, part of which she allegedly used to help fund an Elijah Wood movie.
In court papers filed in Utah, prosecutors allege that Allison Baver — who represented the United States in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 Olympics as a member of the women’s speed skating team — filed multiple loan applications claiming her production company, Allison Baver Productions, had as many as 430 employees and a monthly payroll of $4 million. According to the indictment, the Taylorsville, Utah native’s eponymous company was all smoke and mirrors, with no employees at all.
And yet, Baver’s applications were approved to the tune of a hefty $10 million. The government claims she used part of that money — just $150,000 — to help finance the 2021 film No Man of God. Starring Elijah Wood, the indie flick tells the story of the twisted relationship between Ted Bundy and real-life FBI agent Bill Hagmaier as the convicted serial killer detailed his crimes while awaiting execution on death row.
The athlete’s company first made headlines in Utah back in July 2020 when her sky-high PPP loan funding raised eyebrows at the Treasury Department. At the time, neither the Utah Office of Economic Development, the Salt Lake Chamber, nor the Utah Film Commission had heard of the company, and its offices were listed at Baver’s residential address in Taylorsville, according to reporting by The Salt Lake Tribune.
In 2010, Baver earned the bronze medal in the women’s 3000m relay at the Winter Games in Vancouver. She announced her retirement from speed skating in 2017.