Ladonna Wiggins reportedly bought two homes in Texas and a Land Rover and spent tens of thousands elsewhere.
A 37-year-old Texas woman was charged with securing a $ 3.7 million paycheck protection loan and spending the money on luxury items for herself.
LaDonna Wiggins Houston was charged with bank fraud, bank false testimony, and money laundering. You face up to 30 years imprisonment for embezzling funds to save companies in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Justice Department claims that Wiggins used that money to buy two homes for a total of $ 725,000, paid $ 78,000 for a 2020 Land Rover, and spent over $ 63,000 at Chanel, $ 14,000 at Apple, and more elsewhere.
On Wednesday, the day after Wiggins appeared in federal court, her attorney issued a statement denying the charges.
“We are very disappointed to learn that the government has decided to bring criminal charges against our client LaDonna Wiggins after we repeatedly asked to sit down and discuss the matter with them,” it reads.
“MS. Wiggins is innocent of the nine counts against her as well as all allegations of wrongdoing brought against her by the government. Contrary to her allegations, Ms. Wiggins is a very successful young African American businesswoman who has several thriving local Has built a company and is a sincere member and asset to the Houston community. “
Wiggins is an entrepreneur whose companies – Ahmale Bar & Lounge, Wiggins & Graham Enterprises, LLC, and Pink Lady Line – have received two PPP loans totaling $ 3.7 million.
Under the CARES Act, PPP loans were designated for “certain allowable expenses such as labor costs, mortgage interest, rent and utilities. Interest and amortization of PPP loans can be waived in full if the company has spent the loan proceeds on these expense items within a certain period of time. “
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PPP credit fraud is a widespread issue. Former NFL player Josh Bellamy was indicted last year in a program that helped several people apply for more than $ 24 million in federal loans.
Bellamy is also accused of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal funds on luxury goods.
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