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Press Release

North Las Vegas Resident Pleads Guilty To COVID-19 Relief Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Nevada

LAS VEGAS – A North Las Vegas resident pleaded guilty yesterday to carrying out a scheme to submit more than $1.1 million dollars in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications on behalf of himself and others.

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning no later than on or about March 14, 2021, and continuing until at least on or about October 9, 2021, Jaquari Davonte Woodward (24) devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration and a California lending institution (a non-bank lender). On March 17, 2021, he submitted a loan application as the purported sole proprietor of a music business. He inflated the amount of money his purported music business made and submitted an IRS tax form containing false information. Thereafter, Woodward mass-marketed his scheme on social media by posting the amount of money he received, and offering to help others apply, requesting in exchange $10,000 from any approved loan applications. As part of the scheme, Woodward submitted at least 56 fraudulent applications for PPP loans on behalf of himself and others.

As a result of the Woodward’s fraudulent PPP loan applications, approximately $1,166,582 in fraudulent loan proceeds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by him and other individuals for whom he submitted fraudulent applications. He received about $41,166 in fraudulent PPP loans, as well as a significant share of the over $1 million in fraudulent loans he applied for and obtained on behalf of others, totaling at least $100,000.

Woodward pleaded guilty to wire fraud before United States District Judge Gloria M. Navarro. Sentencing is scheduled for August 15, 2023. Woodward faces the maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison, a term of supervised release, a fine, and restitution.

United States Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada, Special Agent in Charge Weston King for the Small Business Administration, Office of Inspector General’s (SBA OIG) Western Region, and Special Agent in Charge Spencer L. Evans for the FBI made the announcement.

The SBA OIG and FBI investigated the case. Assistant United States Attorney Eric Schmale is prosecuting the case.

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

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 via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:



Updated May 16, 2023

Financial Fraud