Friday, June 25, 2021
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COVID-19 Fraud

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing us to navigate unchartered waters. Fraud related to this outbreak is no exception. Get the latest headlines here to stay informed.

One Little Mistake 

A former executive at Amazon and Microsoft, entrepreneur Mokund Mohan of Clyde Hill, Wash., evidently changed his focus from technology to crime. After being arrested and charged in July 2020, Mokund pleaded guilty March 15, 2021 to wire fraud and money laundering as part...

Busted Scheme in Broken Arrow

A businessman from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, pleaded guilty to fraudulently obtaining a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The loan program is designed to help legitimate small business owners keep their doors open and help...

Fraud Trifecta

A Colorado physician has been charged with theft in connection with health care, theft of government property, wire fraud, and making a false statement in connection with a bankruptcy proceeding—all in the course of allegedly stealing nearly $300,000 from three different COVID relief programs....

Uncaring CARES Fraudster

A Texas woman, La Donna Higgins, 37, allegedly used $3.7 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan funds to buy herself two houses, multiple cars, and a wide array of luxury goods. (Meanwhile, thousands of businesses permanently closed, while families on the brink deferred...

Wheels Stopped Turning

Two Florida residents have been charged with conspiracy and making false statements to a financial institution. Julio Lugo, 44, and Rosenide Venant, 37, are accused of fraudulently applying and obtaining funds earmarked for COVID-19 economic relief. (Seems to be all the rage these days.) In...

From Lovebirds to Jailbirds

An Arkansas couple has pleaded guilty to attempting to fraudulently secure COVID-19 relief funds. James Read, 44, and his wife, Crystal Payne, 42, both of Mountain Home, Ark., admitted in federal court to attempting to secure Payment Protection Program (PPP) loans they did not...

COVID Feature: A Lot of Loans

A federal grand jury returned a four-count indictment against Jeremie Saintvil, 46, of Delray Beach, Florida. Saintvil was indicted for fraudulently obtaining or attempting to obtain more than $1,500,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. Saintvil was charged with bank fraud, making false statements...

COVID Feature: Loaning Myself Some Money

 A Little Rock, Ark., woman was sentenced to time in federal prison after fraudulently obtaining nearly $2 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, which were intended to provide relief for small businesses affected by COVID-19. (Not relieve the strain on her pocketbook.) Ganell...

COVID Feature: Snowball Effect

A snowball effect is described metaphorically as a process that begins as something very small, but as it gains momentum, it becomes larger, more serious, and perhaps even dangerous or devastating. Rashawn Prioleau, 35, of Charlotte, N.C., triggered an avalanche when he allegedly engaged...

COVID Feature: Sometimes, It’s Better to be Last

Most of the time, it’s great to be first because it means you’re really good at time management or you’re the best at something. (For instance, you’re first in line at Walmart on Black Friday or your team wins the Super Bowl. Essentially, you...
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