HOUSTON (KTRK) — A 37-year-old Houston woman is being accused of buying dozens of luxury items using CARES Act money.
The Justice Department indicted 37-year-old LaDonna Wiggins with bank fraud, making a false statement to a bank and money laundering.
According to a statement issued on Tuesday, Wiggins submitted two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and received more than $3.6 million. The charges allege Wiggins used the money to make personal purchases, including two homes, multiple vehicles and luxury goods.
The Justice Department lists some of the purchases as nearly $725,000 for homes in Katy and Cypress, $78,000 for a 2020 Land Rover and a $63,000 purchase at Chanel.
The video above breaks down the previous fraud cases regarding the CARES Act as well what’s going on now with funding that is supposed to help small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
Other purchases listed by officials include $46,000 at Neiman Marcus and $14,000 at Apple.
Wiggins appeared before a U.S. Magistrate on Tuesday.
If convicted, Wiggins faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million maximum fine.