Five current and former IRS employees from Tennessee and Mississippi have been charged with schemes to defraud the federal government’s Paycheck Protect Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program by submitting false claims worth more than $1 million.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division said, “The IRS employees charged in these cases allegedly abused the trust placed in them by the public. The Criminal Division is committed to safeguarding that public trust and protecting pandemic relief programs for the American people.”
According to multiple sources, the suspects are described as follows:
Brian Saulsberry, 46, of Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering after allegedly receiving $171,400.
Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland, 38, of Cordova, Tennessee, is charged with three counts of wire fraud and used the $11,500 she was given for luxury clothing, manicures, and massages.
Fatina Hewitt, 35, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, is charged with one count of wire fraud, spending the $28,900 on Gucci products and a trip to Las Vegas.
Roderick DeMarco White II, 27, of Memphis, has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Tina Humes, 56, of Memphis, is also charged with a single count of wire fraud and allegedly spent the $123,612 of loan proceeds on jewelry and multiple trips to Las Vegas.
Hewitt, White, and Humes have pled guilty to one count of wire fraud each, but the cases are still pending as the case will go to a federal judge for sentencing.
According to NewsMax, each wire fraud count holds a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and each money laundering charge carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
Stories continue to come out alleging fraud in the federal government programs that were authorized for COVID-19 relief. Recent reports show that more than $46 billion have been defrauded from the government in these relief schemes.
Five current or former employees of the IRS defrauded the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program of hundreds of thousands of dollars in relief funds meant for those economically devastated by COVID-19. https://t.co/jbacj5j18k
— Newsmax (@newsmax) October 5, 2022