Texas couple pleads guilty to running $15 million COVID-19 loan scheme in North Carolina

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RALEIGH, NC (WNCN) — A Texas couple pleaded guilty Thursday to orchestrating a scheme to help dozens of people in North Carolina and across the U.S. fraudulently obtain $15 million in payday protection loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. say the prosecutor’s office.

Edward Whitaker, 55, and Shund Coleman, 50, face up to 20 years in prison and fines after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert T. Nummars II in a Raleigh courtroom.

According to the criminal complaint and information provided by prosecutors, Whittaker and Coleman provided their clients with false documents and loan applications under the PPP and helped them falsify the number of employees at their companies along with their gross wages in order to advance their loan applications.

In fact, the prosecutor’s office alleges that this money was returned to these customers.

The couple were also accused of paying brokers fees to recruit more people to submit fake loan applications.

Quentin Jackson pleaded guilty in November 2022 as part of the same conspiracy, and prosecutors identified him as one of the middlemen who recruited more than 12 people to obtain fraudulent loans through a scheme run by Whittaker and Coleman.

These programs were intended to help prevent job losses at certain businesses by providing loans of up to $10 million based on an applicant’s payroll costs at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. These loans could be forgiven if the business maintained a stable payroll and number of employees.

Texas couple pleads guilty to running $15 million COVID-19 loan scheme in North Carolina

Source link Texas couple pleads guilty to running $15 million COVID-19 loan scheme in North Carolina