Five current or former IRS workers have been accused for defrauding the government of hundreds of thousands of dollars in COVID-19 relief payments, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
The employees requested a total of $1.1 million by submitting applications under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs, the DOJ stated in a press release. Nearly a third of that, or more than $400,000, was awarded to them.
The IRS employees reportedly spent the relief money on trips, jewelry, spa treatments, cars, and other luxurious items.
The individuals were confirmed as Roderick DeMarco White II, 27, Fatina Hewitt, 35, Brian Saulsberry, 46, Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland, 38, and Tina Humes, 56.
White, Humes, and Saulsberry are Memphis, Tennessee natives. Hewitt is from Olive Branch, Mississippi, whereas Westmoreland resides in Cordova, Tennessee.
According to the Justice Department’s news release from October 4, these are the accusations they face:
Two accusations of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering have been brought against Saulsberry. He applied for and received $171,400 in EIDL loans totaling $501,400. He reportedly bought a Mercedes-Benz.
Three counts of wire fraud have been brought against Westmoreland. She fraudulently requested $32,500 in loans while only receiving $11,500. The DOJ claims that Westmoreland also falsely acquired an additional $16,050 in jobless benefits. She allegedly spent the cash on spa treatments and designer clothes.
Hewitt is accused of wire fraud on one count. She asked for $338,900 and got $28,900. Hewitt allegedly spent the money on a trip to Las Vegas and items from the Gucci line.
White is accused of wire fraud on one count. He was given $66,666 while asking for $113,311. White is accused of buying a Gucci bag with money that was fraudulently obtained.
One count of wire fraud has been brought against Humes. She applied for loans totaling $133,812 and received $123,612. Rumor has it that Humes spent the cash on jewelry and vacations to Las Vegas.
Four of the five suspected scammers worked for the IRS at the time.
More on this story via The Western Journal:
“Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and each count of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison,” the DOJ said in the news release.
The charges were brought forward by the Justice Department’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which aims to prevent pandemic-related fraud.
“This matter demonstrates the brazenness with which bad actors have taken advantage of federal programs meant to help those who suffered most from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kevin Chambers, the director of the task force. CONTINUE READING…