The US Attorney for Eastern District of Washington announced that a federal grand jury has indicted two people from Richland for COVID-19 fraud.
Jimia Rae Cain, 52-years-old from West Richland was indicted Friday with seven counts of fraud in connection with PPP and EIDL loans that were received in 2020.
Allegedly, Cain used false statements and fake documents to get more than $330,000 in CARES Act funding for her business. She later attempted to get an additional $280,000 in EIDL but was declined.
Andrei Borgheriu, 45-years-old from West Richland was also indicted with three counts of fraud in connection with $500,00 in EIDL funding that he received on behalf of his business.
He allegedly said he would use the money as a working capital for his business but instead he used the money to purchase a home in West Richland in cash.
According to the indictment, he soon wired all the funding to the title company for the purchase of the home. The US if now forfeiting the home from him because it was fraudulently-obtained with EIDL funding.
In February 2022, U.S. Attorney Vanessa R Waldref and the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) began working with federal law enforcement agencies to create and launch a COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force. It would create partnerships between different agencies to investigate and prosecute fraud against COVID-19 relief programs in Eastern Washington.
“COVID-19 relief programs were designed to lift up our community during crisis, and due to the number of people and businesses that requested funding, some deserving small businesses were not able to obtain funding to keep their businesses in operation,” said U.S. Attorney Waldref.
The fraud charges against Cain carry a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison, while the fraud charges against Borgheriu carry a maximum sentence of up to 20 years. This case was investigated by the Eastern District of Washington COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force and by the FBI, SBA OIG, and TIGTA. The United States Attorney also thanks the West Richland Police Department for graciously providing critical support and assistance. The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Dan Fruchter, Frieda K. Zimmerman, Tyler H.L. Tornabene, and Brian Donovan.
An indictment is merely an allegation and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Source: Google News