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Five employees of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) are facing numerous charges of wire fraud and money laundering after stealing COVID money meant to help business owners.
Each suspect faces up to 20 years in prison for each wire fraud count and 10 years for money laundering, according to Fox News.
They have been charged with taking hundreds of thousands of dollars from the federal government to support their lifestyles.
46-year-old Brian Saulsberry of Memphis, Tennessee is charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. He worked for the IRS as a Program Evaluation and Risk Analyst.
Saulsberry allegedly received $171,400 and spent a portion of the money on a Mercedes-Benz. He also put money into a personal investment account.
38-year-old Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland of Cordova, Tennessee is charged with three counts of wire fraud.
Quinshe, a former IRS employee, used the $11,500 in loan funds for manicures, massages, and luxury clothing.
35-year-old Fatina Hewitt of Olive Branch, Mississippi is charged with one count of wire fraud. She spent $28,900 on Gucci clothes and a trip to Las Vegas.
27-year-old Roderick DeMarco White II of Memphis has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud.
56-year-old Tina Humes of Memphis has pleaded guilty to wire fraud after spending $123,612 in loan funds on jewelry and trips to Las Vegas.
The money was designated as COVID-19 relief funds. It came from Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.
The Western District of Tennessee Kevin G. Ritz said, “These individuals – acting out of pure greed – abused their positions by taking government funds meant for citizens and businesses who desperately needed it.”
It was reported that the defendants submitted false loan applications that provided them with more than $1 million.