NLV man pleads guilty to operating scheme to defraud government of $1.1M in COVID relief funds

NLV man pleads guilty to operating scheme to defraud government of $1.1M in COVID relief funds

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A North Las Vegas man pleaded guilty to wire fraud Monday for carrying out a scheme in which he submitted at least 56 fraudulent claims for loans on behalf of himself and others from the COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, from March 2021 through October 2021, Jaquari Davonte Woodward, 24, submitted claims stating he was the sole owner of a music business and submitted an IRS tax form with false information and inflated the amount of money his business made.

When Woodward received $41,000, he took to social media to “mass-market” his scheme, federal agents said. He offered to help others apply and requested $10,000 if their loan was approved.

More than $1.1 million in fraudulent loan proceeds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by Woodward and other individuals for whom he had submitted fraudulent loan applications.

Woodward will be sentenced on Aug. 15, 2023. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office encourages anyone with information about allegations of fraud related to COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or filling out a web complaint form at this link.



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