North Las Vegas man pleads guilty to $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief fraud

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Published: May. 16, 2023 at 12:45 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - A North Las Vegas resident pleaded guilty to carrying out a scheme to submit more than $1.1 million dollars in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications on behalf of himself and others.

According to court documents and statements made in court, beginning on or about March 14, 2021, and continuing until at least on or about October 9, 2021, Jaquari Davonte Woodward, 24, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud the Small Business Administration and a California lending institution. On March 17, 2021, he submitted a loan application as the purported sole proprietor of a music business.

He inflated the amount of money his purported music business made and submitted an IRS tax form containing false information. Woodward mass-marketed his scheme on social media by posting the amount of money he received and offering to help others apply, requesting $10,000 in exchange for any approved loan applications. As part of the scheme, Woodward submitted at least 56 fraudulent applications for PPP loans on behalf of himself and others.

As a result of Woodward’s fraudulent PPP loan applications, approximately $1,166,582 in fraudulent loan proceeds were deposited into bank accounts controlled by him and other individuals for whom he submitted fraudulent applications. He received about $41,166 in fraudulent PPP loans, as well as a significant share of the over $1 million in fraudulent loans he applied for and obtained on behalf of others, totaling at least $100,000.

Woodward pleaded guilty to wire fraud before United States District Judge Gloria M. Navarro. Sentencing is scheduled for August 15, 2023. Woodward faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison, a term of supervised release, a fine, and restitution.