Multiple Individuals Charged in COVID Fraud Schemes
(ConservativeHub.com) – During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government offered various assistance programs to small businesses to help them stay afloat. Unfortunately, many unscrupulous people took advantage of the “free” money opportunities, and fraud was widespread. Ongoing investigations continue to uncover schemes, with the latest concerning five current or previous IRS employees who were accused of breaking the law by applying for over $1 million that should have gone to hardworking Americans.
Three of the accused pleaded guilty to one count each of wire fraud after accepting funds from the relief programs in amounts ranging from nearly $29,000 to more than $123,000. Fatina Hewitt, Tina Humes, and Roderick DeMarco White II spent their ill-gotten gains on trips to Las Vegas, designer goods, and other personal items.
Five IRS employees stole COVID relief funds to buy Gucci, trips to Las Vegas, Justice Department says https://t.co/8pOEtGbzIK
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) October 5, 2022
Two others have ongoing cases. Brain Saulsberry faces two counts each for wire fraud and money laundering. He allegedly received $171,400 and spent it on a Mercedes-Benz and investments. Courtney Qunishe Westmoreland allegedly received $11,500, which she reportedly spent on luxury items and services. She faces three counts of wire fraud.
While these people represent only a fraction of the many who submitted fraudulent applications and stole from the aid programs, they were all notably affiliated with the IRS. The problem with COVID fraud is so prevalent that the government has a hotline people can use to report suspected crimes related to pandemic relief.
Copyright 2022, ConservativeHub.com