Woman Pleads Guilty to Multimillion-Dollar COVID-19 Loan Fraud Conspiracy
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Stockbridge, Georgia, woman pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring with others to submit millions of dollars in fraudulent disaster-related loan applications in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to court documents, Nikki Mitchum, 44, participated in a conspiracy to obtain disaster-related loan benefits in the form of Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsored Economic Injury Disaster loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These programs, initiated and expanded under the Cares Act, are designed to provide support for small businesses for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nikki Mitchum and her co-conspirators, including Malik Mitchum, 26, and Jenna Mitchum, 25, of Hampton, submitted fraudulent claims for government benefits in the name of businesses that they falsely represented were struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Between March 2020 and May 2021, 12 fraudulent applications for pandemic-related loan benefits were submitted using Nikki Mitchum’s information that contained false statements and misrepresentations about their income, employment, and claimed business entities. Nikki Mitchum is further linked to four other fraudulent loan applications by the IP address used to submit the applications. Finally, Nikki Mitchum is connected with 17 fraudulent loan applications submitted by other co-conspirators who paid kickbacks in an approximate amount of $204,000 to the companies owned and operated by Nikki Mitchum.
Malik and Jenna Mitchum previously pleaded guilty and were linked to more than $5.1 million in intended loss and caused more than $1.4 million in actual loss to the United States and participating financial institutions. Nikki Mitchum has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution to the United States for actual losses from her role in the conspiracy and is linked with intended fraud loss of more than $4 million.
Nikki Mitchum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Malik and Jenna Mitchum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. They both face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison. Malik and Jenna Mitchum are scheduled to be sentenced on July 29. Actual sentences for federal crimes are typically less than the maximum penalties. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after taking into account the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Brian Dugan, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Field Office, made the announcement after U.S. Magistrate Judge Lawrence R. Leonard accepted the plea.
Assistant U.S. Attorney D. Mack Coleman is prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:21-cr-85 and 4:22-cr-47.