Five current or former IRS employees in Tennessee and Mississippi fraudulently received thousands of dollars in COVID relief funds to finance lavish lifestyles, according to the Department of Justice.
The five suspects allegedly submitted bogus loan applications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program in an effort to gain over $1 million in funding.
They then used the loan funds to finance their extravagant lifestyles, such as buying new cars, luxury goods, and personal travel, including trips to Las Vegas, according to court documents.
“The IRS employees charged in these cases allegedly abused the trust placed in them by the public,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The Criminal Division is committed to safeguarding that public trust and protecting pandemic relief programs for the American people.”
“This matter demonstrates the brazenness with which bad actors have taken advantage of federal programs meant to help those who suffered most from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Kevin Chambers. “The Justice Department will continue to work hard to root out PPP and EIDL Program fraud, including that committed by government employees.”
Five IRS employees stole COVID relief funds for Gucci shoes and trips to Las Vegas.
Now imagine what 87,000 IRS agents will do.
— Congressman Troy Nehls (@RepTroyNehls) October 5, 2022
According to the DOJ, the five individuals charged are:
- Brian Saulsberry, 46, of Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. Saulsberry was employed by the IRS as a Program Evaluation and Risk Analyst in the Human Capital Office. According to the indictment, Saulsberry submitted four fraudulent EIDL Program applications, seeking at least $501,400 in EIDL Program loans and obtaining $171,400 in loan funds. Saulsberry allegedly spent a portion of the funds on a Mercedes-Benz and deposited additional funds into a personal investment account.
- Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland, 38, of Cordova, Tennessee, is charged with three counts of wire fraud. Westmoreland was employed by the IRS as a Contact Representative in the Wage and Investment Service Centers Department. According to the indictment, Westmoreland submitted multiple fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program applications on behalf of a purported apparel business, for which she sought at least $32,500 in loans and obtained $11,500 in loan funds. Westmoreland allegedly used these funds for personal services, including manicures and massages, and to purchase luxury clothing. In addition, while employed full-time by the IRS, Westmoreland allegedly submitted fraudulent applications for unemployment insurance benefits to the Tennessee Department of Labor, in which she falsely claimed that she was not employed by the federal government. According to court documents, Westmoreland fraudulently obtained $16,050 in unemployment insurance benefits.
- Fatina Hewitt, 35, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, is charged with one count of wire fraud. Hewitt was employed by the IRS as a Management and Program Assistant in Information Technology. According to the information, Hewitt submitted multiple fraudulent EIDL Program applications on behalf of a purported fashion business, seeking $338,900 in EIDL Program loans and obtaining $28,900 in loan funds. Court documents allege that Hewitt spent the loan funds on Gucci clothing and a trip to Las Vegas. On October 4, 2022, Hewitt pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
- Roderick DeMarco White II, 27, of Memphis, is charged with one count of wire fraud. White was employed by the IRS as a Contact Representative in the Wage and Investment Service Centers Department. According to the information, White submitted four fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program applications on behalf of a purported apparel business, seeking $113,311 in PPP and EIDL Program loans and obtaining $66,666 in loan funds. White allegedly spent the loan funds on personal items, including a Gucci satchel. On August 25, 2022, White pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
- Tina Humes, 56, of Memphis, is charged with one count of wire fraud. Humes was employed by the IRS as a Lead Management and Program Assistant in the Human Capital Office. According to the information, Humes submitted four fraudulent PPP and EIDL Program applications, seeking $133,812 in loans and obtaining $123,612 in loan funds. Humes allegedly spent the funds on jewelry and trips to Las Vegas. On July 27, 2022, Humes pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, and 10 years for each count of money laundering, DOJ said.
The Gateway Pundit previously reported that Paul Pelosi’s restaurant company called EDI Associates received loans of more than $1.7 million from the federal government, which won’t have to be repaid.
This one holds a special place in my @SpeakerPelosi ‘s husband Paul Pelosi took some PPP loans as well even though him and his wife do absolutely excellent in the stock market and both also have two full time careers. Clearly they needed it… pic.twitter.com/lMVDb6HpwL
— Dah4KingMayor (@MikeDotRoy) August 21, 2022
EDI Associates was given two loans – one for $711,708 and the other for $996,392.
As the database shows, both loans have been forgiven. As noted by the Daily Mail, the decision to forgive a loan is based upon a formula that takes into account the number of employees retained and their wages.
The news about the husband of the House speaker raised eyebrows on social media.
Paul Pelosi has a net worth of over 120 Million and took a 1,709,100 dollar PPP loan that was then forgiven. But they need 87,000 IRS agents to look into your finances.
— Joey – Still with Sarcasm and Facts (@jjstyx) August 17, 2022