Home>702Times>North Las Vegas Man Jailed for $1.1 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme

North Las Vegas Man Jailed for $1.1 Million COVID-19 Relief Fraud Scheme

By TheNevadaGlobeStaff, January 9, 2024 5:24 pm

NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV (January 9, 2024) – A North Las Vegas man will spend nearly two years behind bars for a brazen COVID-19 relief fraud scheme that bilked lenders out of over $1 million.

Jaquari Davonte Woodward, 25, was sentenced to 19 months in prison on Tuesday by a U.S. District Court judge, followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay back more than $1.26 million in restitution to the lenders and the Small Business Administration (SBA).

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Nevada, Woodward masterminded a scheme to manipulate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a federal program designed to assist small businesses struggling during the pandemic. Prosecutors revealed Woodward submitted at least 56 fraudulent loan applications – both for himself and others – often inflating financial information or even creating fictitious companies to meet eligibility requirements.

His scam began in 2021 when he successfully secured over $20,800 using a fake application in his own name. Emboldened by this success, Woodward turned to social media, advertising his services and promising fraudulent PPP loans for a $10,000 fee.

Woodward’s operation spanned from March to October 2021, during which he submitted the 56 fraudulent applications, ultimately causing over $1.1 million in losses to PPP lenders and the SBA.

“This sentence sends a clear message to those who would exploit a program designed to help legitimate businesses during a global crisis,” said U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich. “The Justice Department will hold accountable those who attempt to steal from taxpayers and undermine the integrity of important federal programs.”

Credits: News3LV

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