17 public employees stole millionaire COVID funds in New York; they took loans for fake beauty salons
Dozens of people, mostly New York City or state employees, have been arrested as part of an investigation into fraudulent coronavirus relief loans.
“Seventeen public employees have been charged with schemes to defraud Covid relief programs that they intended to provide money to struggling business owners, the authorities said,” reported The New York Times.
In all, 19 suspects are facing charges, 17 of whom are public employees. Sixteen people have been arrested and the police are looking for another three, detailed Pix11. They were accused of submit loan applications with false claimsauthorities said. Many of them they lied saying they operated hair and nail salons. However the money was spent on gambling, stock investments, furniture, electronics, and fancy clothing.
“These are people who held positions of trust and had strong, stable jobs while so many people struggled during the pandemic”
Thomas M. Fattorusso, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent
“Of those arrested today there are public officials, employees of the NYPD and a captain from the Department of Corrections”said the special agent of criminal investigation in charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Thomas M. Fattorusso. “These are people who held positions of trust and had strong, stable jobs while so many people were struggling during the pandemic.”
They allegedly fraudulently received more than $1.5 million dollars from the federal Small Business Administration (SBA). The money was spent on gambling, stock investments, furniture, electronics, and fancy clothing.
“Conspiring to steal government funds intended to help small businesses cope with a national emergency It is offensive”, said US Attorney Damian Williams. “And, as public employees, these people should have known better. This office will continue to prosecute those who use fraud to line their pockets with taxpayer money.”
Authorities charged Rodney Smith (54), Denise Gant (52), Ebony Simon (45), Phya Scott (51), Priscilla Jackson (41), Yolanda Lawrence (48), Zhane Ratcliff (27), Sharon Charles (56 ) and Yolanda Ratcliff (48), of conspiracy to commit electronic fraud. In addition, Smith was accused of aggravated identity theft
Also Vashawan Foreman (40), Dione Hall (55), Walter Susswell (28), Delilah Cummings (37), Trevor Gordon (66), Toni McCullough (38), Ronette Short (40), Brandon Boyle (31), Jarod Ottley (57) and Edwin Skepple (40) were charged with wire fraud.
All charges are mere accusations and those charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court.
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