Jacksonville, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces the return of an indictment charging Deconna Burke (34, Jacksonville) with one count of wire fraud involving COVID Relief Fraud through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). If convicted, Burke faces up to 20 years in federal prison and payment of restitution to the United States government.
According to the indictment, in April 2021, Burke submitted a PPP loan application to a lender authorized by the Small Business Administration to lend funds for approved PPP loan applications. The PPP loan application falsely claimed that Burke operated his own babysitting business with a gross income of $98,000. Throughout the loan application Burke made multiple false statements regarding his purported payroll and operating expenses. In support of his PPP loan application, Burke submitted a false IRS Form 1040 “Profit or Loss From Business.” It contained false statements about operating expenses, gross income, and wage expenditures for his purported business. In reliance on the false statements in his PPP loan application and supporting documentation, Burke received a PPP loan for $20,415. After receiving the PPP loan proceeds into his bank account, Burke began making withdrawals and spending it on personal expenses to include paying off a loan for a motorcycle. In November 2021, Burke filed a PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, falsely stating that he had spent the $20,415 on payroll. In reliance on his false statements the Small Business Administration forgave the entire loan amount. Burke’s case is set for trial in July 2023.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service – Jacksonville Field Office. It will be prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein. The asset forfeiture is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Mai Tran.
Originally published at https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/former-jacksonville-sheriffs-office-corrections-officer-indicted-covid-relief-fraud