Ocala Woman Pleads Guilty To Fraud Relating To COVID-19 Relief Funds

Ocala, Florida – United States Attorney Roger B. Handberg announces that Passion Lajodia Jackson (30, Ocala) has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud related to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act. Jackson faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison and an order of forfeiture for at least $20,132, representing the proceeds obtained from the offense. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

On April 2, 2021, Jackson electronically submitted a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application to the Small Business Administration. Her application included false statements. Jackson also provided a fictitious Internal Revenue Service document in support of her application. Based on the false information she provided, Jackson fraudulently received a PPP loan of $20,132 on April 6, 2021. The loan was electronically wired to her bank account. Within 30 days of receiving the loan, Jackson withdrew the funds in cash.

In May 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force (CFETF) to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.         

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Hannah Nowalk.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Justice Department’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

Originally published at https://www.justice.gov/usao-mdfl/pr/ocala-woman-pleads-guilty-fraud-relating-covid-19-relief-funds

Recent Articles

- Part of VUGA -send press release to distribution

Related Stories