A Denver woman is charged with stealing more than $3.3 million in COVID relief money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced Monday.
DeJane Reaniece Lattany, 32, has been charged with wire fraud in an alleged scheme to obtain fraudulent COVID-19 loans.
Prosecutors allege that Lattany, between June 2020 and January 2022, submitted fraudulent applications to the Small Business Administration on behalf of business entities she allegedly owned.
In the applications, the Denver woman allegedly “misrepresented the number of employees, gross revenues, and cost of goods sold of the entities,” the U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release. Lattany also told the federal office that the funds would be used for payroll, when in fact most of the money was being used for his “personal benefit,” according to prosecutors.
Lattany made his first appearance in federal court on Monday.
The arrest comes as the US Department of Justice has stepped up COVID-19 fraud enforcement in the wake of the global pandemic.
In 2021, the United States Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to bolster efforts to prosecute those who have benefited from millions paid into assistance programs.
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