North Carolina woman went shopping with COVID-19 relief loan money

Jasmine Johnae Cifton was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of fraud after prosecutors said she made personal purchases with a $ 150,000 relief loan.

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina – A Charlotte woman is accused of lying to get a COVID-19 relief loan of nearly $ 150,000 which she then spent on a shopping spree.

According to the US Department of Justice, Jasmine Johnae Clifton requested a loan of $ 150,000 under the CARES Act for a business she no longer operated. On February 17, Clifton was indicted by a federal grand jury with charges of wire fraud in connection with a disaster benefit and fraud in connection with a major disaster or emergency benefits.

Prosecutors said Clifton started an online clothing business in July 2019. On July 24, 2020, she submitted a fraudulent loan application despite allegedly shutting down the business several months earlier. Clifton received $ 149,900 in disaster relief funds which were quickly deposited into his personal bank account, court records show.

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According to the indictment, Clifton used this money to make purchases at numerous retailers, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, IKEA, Louis Vuitton and Best Buy. She is also accused of shopping at several diamond stores.

If convicted, both counts are punishable by 30 years in prison each. The electronic fraud charge related to a disaster benefit carries a fine of up to $ 1 million. The charge of fraud related to a major disaster or emergency benefits is punishable by a fine of up to $ 250,000.

RELATED: “Sounds like a lifeline, but it’s not” | COVID-19 Relief Scams Targeting Carolinians Seeking Help

RELATED: Over $ 300 Million in Stimulus Checks Have Been Reported Stolen. The real number could be $ 3 billion

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