Feds allege Hampton residents started 5 fake businesses to get $1.4M in COVID relief funds

$1.4M in COVID relief funds scheme
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Posted at 11:07 AM, Dec 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 14:57:06-05

HAMPTON, Va. - Federal prosecutors have alleged that two Hampton residents started five fake businesses to receive COVID-19 relief funds.

Federal prosecutors said that 26-year-old Malik Mitchum and 25-year-old Jenna Mitchum, both from Hampton reportedly started the alleged fake businesses and which caused a loss of $1.4 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

They said this happened between March 2020 until May 2021 and allege that the purpose of the scheme was to fraudulently obtain pandemic-related benefits.

Federal prosecutors claim the defendants submitted applications for loans under the EIDL and PPP programs that contained false statements, misrepresentations, omissions related to the defendant's income, employment, and claimed business entities are facing conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

They said over the course of 14 months the suspects attempted to take $5.1 million in COVID-19 relief money.

They said they also help others to file for COVID relief and in certain cases took a percentage of the money.

The following businesses were listed in the court records: Alpha 20 Mega Logistics, Southern by the Belle, A20 Auto Brokers, Purse Pressure and Day and Night Trucking.

Malik Mitchum and Jenna Mitchum were both charged with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.

The records state that they both plan to plead guilty.