Allison Baver was charged on nine counts of fault by a Federal grand jury last month ©Getty Images

Former short track speed skating star Allison Baver, an Olympic bronze medallist at Vancouver 2010, has pleaded not guilty against nine charges of fraud.

Baver was summed to a Federal Court in Salt Lake City in the United States where she issued the not guilty plea to eight counts of bank fraud and a further count of money laundering.

The American is accused of fraudulently obtaining $10 million (£7 million/€9 million) in COVID-19 relief payments to, she claimed, help fund a Hollywood film starring Elijah Wood.

Eight of the counts are for making false statements to a bank, while the other is for money laundering in filling claims between April 13 and 26 in 2020.

Federal prosecutors alleged that Baver claimed she had more than 400 employees working for her company, Allison Baver Entertainment, and a payroll of over $4 million (£2.9 million/€3.5 million) in a Paycheck Protection Program application - a pandemic loan scheme set up to aid certain businesses pay for staff and other expenses.

Court documents reportedly show that Baver filed several applications in April 2020 for the loans but prosecutors found that Allison Baver Entertainment had no employees and no monthly payroll.

Allison Baver represented the United States at three Winter Olympics, winning bronze at Vancouver 2010 ©Getty Images
Allison Baver represented the United States at three Winter Olympics, winning bronze at Vancouver 2010 ©Getty Images

Baver is accused of using some of the money to finance the movie, called No Man of God with the indictment alleging that her company transferred $150,000 (£110,000/€130,000) to the film’s production company.

She claimed to be a producer on No Man of God - an American crime mystery film directed by Amber Sealey and featuring Lord of the Rings star Wood.

The film, produced by Wood's production company SpectreVision. was released in the US last August to positive reviews.

During her short track speed skating career, Baver represented the US at three Winter Olympic Games, at Salt Lake 2002, Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010.

Bayer teamed up with Alyson Dudek, Lana Gehring, Katherine Reutter and Kimberly Derrick to clinch bronze in the women’s 3000m relay behind Canada and winners China at Vancouver 2010.

If convicted, she could face up to 30 years in prison on bank fraud counts and 10 years on a money laundering count.