Omaha Residents Charged with COVID Relief Fraud
Acting United States Attorney Jan Sharp announced that an Indictment was unsealed today that charges Tamika R. Cross, age 42, Ronnie E. Cross, age 44, and Davida J. Anderson, age 51, all of Omaha, Nebraska, with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering.
The Indictment alleges that the defendants each engaged in a scheme to defraud lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act that Congress enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPP provided forgivable loans to small businesses so they could preserve jobs and continue paying employees.
The Indictment alleges that these three defendants submitted fraudulent applications for more than $2 million in PPP loans on behalf of businesses that were not in operation, and that they obtained approximately $489,000.00 in PPP loan proceeds. The maximum possible penalty if convicted is 20 years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, a three-year term of supervised release, and a $100 special assessment.
An Indictment is a charging document that contains one or more individual counts that are merely accusations, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The Task Force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts. For more information on the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.