West Richland Woman Gets 15 Months for COVID Relief Fraud
A West Richland woman will spend a year and three months in Federal prison for her role in COVID relief fraud.
The woman received over $300K illegally
The US Attorney's Office for the Eastern WA District announced on Thursday the woman, 52-year-old Jimia Rae Cain, illegally obtained $337,267 in CARES Act funding – a $71,900 EIDL and a $265,267 PPP – in July and August of 2020 in the name of her purported business Americore Construction.
The loans were part of the COVID relief program or CARES Act, which was signed into law in March 2020. One of the programs, according to the US Attorney's office, did not require repayment:
"the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), provided government-backed funding to small businesses which could be forgiven so long as the proceeds were used for payroll and other eligible expenses."
According to US Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref, Cain set up a fake construction business known as Americore Construction. She applied for the funding in the summer of 2020 and used falsified statements and fake tax and payroll documents to set up the fraud.
Waldref did not say how they learned of the fraud, but it was likely part of a February 2022 program that was started to follow up on these loans and aid, and make sure people were not using fraud to get COVID funds.
Cain will also face supervision following her prison term and will be required to make restitution for the entire amount she received from the government.