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Las Vegas Woman pleads guilty to committing COVID relief fraud while on federal probation

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A Las Vegas woman pleaded guilty on Thursday to filing fraudulent applications seeking thousands of dollars in loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.

According to court documents, Mikaela Marie Cuevas, 24, submitted at least two fraudulent loan applications and received thousands of dollars of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding she was not eligible to receive.

The incident all took place while she was on probation for assaulting a federal law enforcement officer.

As part of the scheme, Cuevas submitted PPP loan applications in the name of a fake management consulting business, falsely claiming gross annual revenues of $106,000 from the non-existent business.

Shortly after receiving the PPP funds, she filed fraudulent loan forgiveness applications, seeking to have her responsibility to re-pay the stolen loans absolved.

In total, she caused a loss of about $47,000 and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.

She is scheduled to be sentenced on May 25 and faces a maximum statutory sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

In addition to time in prison, Cuevas faces a period of supervised release, restitution, and monetary penalties.

A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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