Raytown residents plead guilty to COVID fraud conspiracy

(Source: Gray News)
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 3:12 PM CDT
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (KCTV) - Two Raytown, Missouri, residents pleaded guilty in federal court to their roles in a conspiracy to obtain fraudulent PPP loans issued under the CARES Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice said 27-year-old Deanna Brand and 26-year-old Jason Collins pleaded guilty on Thursday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Brand and Collins each admitted they participated in a conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration from April 2021 through January 2022. The two Raytown residents provided their personal identification to a co-conspirator who then submitted fraudulent applications for PPP loans in their names. The applications falsely claimed business income in order to receive a nearly $21,000 loan despite neither Brand nor Collins owning a business at the time.

Brand told the DOJ she paid her co-conspirator $2,000 and spent the rest of the loan money on personal expenses that had nothing to do with any business. Collins said he paid his co-conspirator $5,000 and spent the rest of the money on personal expenses as well.

The two of them each must pay $20,832 in restitution to the government and each are subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole.