By Alex Mitchell
These COVID crooks are getting a jab of justice.
Nearly $100 billion of COVID relief funds has been defrauded across the United States since the pandemic began, the Secret Service announced Tuesday, adding that there are almost 1,000 separate investigations into these startling financial frauds.
Two high profile athletes have already been cuffed for the crime: US Olympic speedskater Allison Marie Baver is accused of ripping off $10 million, as well as former New York Jets wide receiver and onetime millionaire Kenbrell Thompkins, whose damages are in the hundreds of thousands.
There have also been plenty of “average Joe” perps getting busted after spending their lavish relief dough on trivial purchases, such as flashy cars or rare, five-figure Pokémon cards (both true, real examples, sadly). Gotta catch ’em all, right?
A group of deceitful dingbats in Brooklyn were even found out after posing online with some $2 million of ill-begotten relief funds.
Read on for the most ridiculous, and egregious, COVID relief scammers that have been caught — so far.
Bronze medalist Speed Skater Allison Marie Baver
Baver allegedly BS’d the government into believing she had a monthly payroll of $4.7M, whereas she actually had none at all, according to court documents. She also claimed to have employed between 100 and 430 people, which the feds are alleging to be phony.
Baver also transferred $150,000 to another production company, behind the August-released Ted Bundy film “No Man of God,” a film she cameoed in, KTSU reported.
Prosecutors are aiming to make Baver forfeit about $9.7 million of her funds. She could also do 40 years in prison if convicted on all counts, according to KTSU. She is due for arraignment on Jan. 18, 2022.
New York Jet Kenbrell Thompkins
Looks like he dropped the ball on this one.
Former Jets wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins pled guilty to one count of unauthorized access device fraud — the theft of banking or credit cards — and one count of aggravated identity fraud last October. He allegedly stole the identities of several Florida residents to apply for COVID unemployment benefits while in California. Thompkins was then awarded $300,000 in debit cards under false pretenses, which were sent to a South Florida address he was using, according to the Associated Press.
The AP also reported that he withdrew about $230,000 of those funds at various ATMs in Miami-Dade County. Thompkins — who spent an uneventful 2015 season with Gang Green — is scheduled to be sentenced on Jan. 6 and faces up to 12 years in prison.
Brooklyn man busted after spending $2M on flashy cars
Living life in the fast lane doesn’t always take you where you want to go.
Leon Miles, a 51-year-old Brooklyn man, was arrested for collecting about $2 million in PPP funds that allegedly fueled his lust for luxury cars, according to federal prosecutors.
After the forgivable loan of $1,904,593 hit Miles’ personal bank account, he withdrew hundreds of thousands in the upcoming days, spending $250,000 on a 2020 white Bentley Continental that he posed with on Instagram and $100,000 on a 2020 Cadillac Escalade, the prosecution alleged.
The loan was approved after Miles claimed that he had a monthly payroll of $768,838, used to employ 50 people through his company 114 Macon LLC, court papers indicated.
In reality, Miles had no taxable income, his company hadn’t filed a single tax return, and reported no wage payments in 2019. The listed address for the alleged business was also that of his home, the documents revealed.
If convicted, Miles could do 30 years in the slammer.
Read more @ New York Post
One find as much racism as one is looking for.
Andy Warhol Campbell Soup Can Painting sold for $11.8 million.