117k in COVID Relief were stolen by a police officer, who was sentenced to prison.
A former member of the Miami-Dade Police Department in Florida was found guilty of stealing more than (dollar)117,000 in COVID-19 relief funds and received a 60-day prison sentence.
According to a statement from the Department of Justice (DOJ), Elisa Rivera, 51, received her punishment on Wednesday in Miami federal court.
The statement said that after she completes her 60 days in jail, she will have 18 months of supervised release after which she will spend the first 60 days behind bars.
Prior to her hearing on Wednesday, Rivera reimbursed the federal government for the money she had obtained illegally for herself and other people.
In February, Rivera admitted guilt to conspiring to commit wire fraud.
When the pandemic struck in 2020, she was employed by the Miami-Dade Police Department as an administrative officer. Despite the fact that she did not lose any pay, Rivera gave the go-ahead for a co-conspirator to electronically submit an application for an Economy Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on July 3, 2020.
The application misrepresented Rivera’s ownership of a small business called “Elisa Rivera,” which had 12 employees and gross sales of (dollar)425,446 during the twelve months prior to January 31, 2020.
According to the application, the phony company was founded on March 1st, 2017.
As a result of the false application, Rivera was awarded grants and loans totaling (dollar)71,300 from the SBA.
She also offered to and actually did submit false EIDL applications on behalf of other people.
According to the DOJ, Rivera has until November 4 to turn himself in to the Bureau of Prisons.
In order to provide financial support to Americans experiencing the economic effects of the pandemic, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed in March 2020.
Applications for the aid had to be submitted directly through the Small Business Administration’s website to the division’s investigations section.
In December 2021, Newsweek reported that (dollar)3.4 trillion in COVID-19 relief funds had been the victim of theft totaling nearly (dollar)100 billion, the majority of which was unemployment and benefit money.
The SBA and Secret Service’s data show that the majority of the funds that were stolen were obtained through unemployment fraud.
More recently, Newsweek reported on August 7 that billions in pandemic relief funds failed to reach workers.
The Paycheck Protection funds make up only about 25% of the total.
This is just a quick summary.