She used COVID loans for plastic surgery: Federal government


A woman has been charged after being charged with obtaining more than $ 1.6 million in COVID business <a class=loans to use for her own expenses, Maryland officials said.” title=”A woman has been charged after being charged with obtaining more than $ 1.6 million in COVID business loans to use for her own expenses, Maryland officials said.” loading=”lazy”/>

A woman has been charged after being charged with obtaining more than $ 1.6 million in COVID business loans to use for her own expenses, Maryland officials said.

A woman received more than $ 1.6 million in loans to help businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic and used some of the money for plastic surgery and home renovations, among other expenses, according to reports. federal officials.

She is charged in an indictment with conspiring to “enrich herself personally” by “fraudulently obtaining” the loans.

The indictment comes after Nichelle Henson, 35, of Baltimore, allegedly made “fraudulent claims” and “made false statements” to receive loans from several companies, officials said in a ministry statement. Justice on December 15.

It did so “to the detriment of honest business owners who were in fact struggling financially because of COVID-19,” US Attorney Erek L. Barron said in a statement.

If Henson is found guilty of all 18 charges she faces, she could be sentenced to decades in prison, the statement said.

Information regarding Henson’s defense attorney was not immediately available and McClatchy News was unable to reach Henson for comment.

Henson had “incorporated businesses with the State of Maryland, including Crowns Construction, LLC; Nichelle Henson Campaign, LLC; One stop shop for services, LLC; Your Friendly Tax Preparation Services, LLC; Women Entrepreneurs Can Succeed, LLC and Peace of Mind Services Inc, ”the statement read.

“As of April 2020, Henson filed fraudulent claims on behalf of his companies” for the Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (P3), according to the Department of Justice .

For example, when Henson submitted an application for one of the companies, Your Friendly Tax Preparation Services LLC, she “falsely claimed 10 employees, 2019 gross income of $ 36,000” and a “cost of goods sold of 13,000. $ ”On April 14, 2020, the indictment obtained by McClatchy News shows.

This request resulted in a grant of $ 10,000, according to the indictment.

The objective of the EIDL and PPP loans was to “provide emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” the statement said.

Henson’s claims submitted under the PPP program “allegedly contained false statements, misrepresentations and omissions regarding his alleged businesses, including their existence, address, salary expenses and number of employees,” a- he added.

She is accused of conspiring to obtain the PPP loans for her “personal plastic surgery, renovations to a relative’s house”, renovations to her own home, car payments and more, according to the deed. ‘charge.

Henson “falsely promised” to spend the loans “on qualifying expenses such as payroll, business rent, and company utilities when she intended to spend the funds on expenses. personal, ”he said.

“It is reprehensible that fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this global pandemic to line their pockets,” said Barron.

“The indictment calls for the confiscation of any proceeds obtained as a result of the crime, including $ 678,073.82 seized during the investigation of six bank accounts on behalf of some of Henson’s businesses, as well as a judgment of money “to recover funds, according to the statement. .

Henson is due to appear in court virtually on December 16.

McClatchy News has contacted the Justice Department for further comment.

Julia Marnin is a McClatchy National Real-Time reporter covering the Southeast and Northeast while based in New York City. She is a College of New Jersey alumnus and joined McClatchy in 2021. Previously, she wrote for Newsweek, Modern Luxury, Gannett and more.

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