Texas woman accused of using $ 3.7 million in PPP loans for homes, Chanel
Ladonna Wiggins reportedly bought two homes in Texas and a Land Rover, and spent tens of thousands elsewhere.
A 37-year-old woman in Texas has been charged with obtaining a $ 3.7 million paycheck protection loan loan and spending the funds on luxury items for herself .
LaDonna Wiggins de Houston was indicted for bank fraud, misrepresenting a bank and money laundering. She faces up to 30 years in prison for embezzling funds meant to save businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Justice Department alleges Wiggins, with that money, bought two homes for a total of $ 725,000, paid $ 78,000 on a 2020 Land Rover, plus spent over $ 63,000 at Chanel, $ 14,000 at Apple and more elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the day after Wiggins appeared in federal court, his lawyer released a statement denouncing the charges.
“We are very disappointed to learn that the government has decided to lay criminal charges against our client, LaDonna Wiggins, after our repeated requests to sit down and discuss this matter with them,” we read.
“Ms. Wiggins is innocent of the charges against her in a nine-count indictment, as well as any allegations of wrongdoing the government has brought against her. Contrary to their allegations, Ms. Wiggins is a very successful young African American businesswoman who has cultivated several successful local businesses and is an honest member and asset to the Houston community.
Wiggins is an entrepreneur whose companies – Ahmale Bar & Lounge, Wiggins & Graham Enterprises, LLC and Pink Lady Line – have secured two PPP loans totaling $ 3.7 million.
Under the CARES Act, PPP loans were designated for “certain eligible expenses, such as salary costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.” Interest and principal on PPP loans can be written off entirely if the business has spent the loan proceeds on these expenses within a specified time frame.
PPP loan fraud is an endemic problem. Former NFL player Josh bellamy was indicted last year in a scheme that helped several people apply for more than $ 24 million in federal loans.
Bellamy is also accused of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds on luxury goods.
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