Two Suffolk women plead guilty to receiving COVID-19 fraudulent loans

Two Suffolk County women who work for the Internal Revenue Service have pleaded guilty to receiving thousands of dollars in COVID-19 loans for nonexistent businesses, the district attorney’s office said Friday.

The women are Tina White, 36, of Bellport, and Shawana Williams, 45, of Centereach, the office said in a news release.

Both were sentenced to a conditional discharge and ordered to pay restitution — $6,000 by White and $4,000 by Williams — the release said.

“At a time where people were falling ill to COVID-19 and struggling financially, these two U.S. government employees abused a system designed to assist small businesses in order to line their own pockets,” Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney said in the release.

In 2020, White and Williams each filed COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications with the Small Business Administration, claiming to be the owners of businesses needing help due to the pandemic.

“White claimed to be the Chief Operating Officer of an agricultural business, and Williams claimed to be the Chief Operating Officer of a medical services business. However, neither business existed,” the release said. “White received $6,000 and Williams received $4,000 as initial cash advancements while their respective loan applications were being processed. Both loan applications were ultimately denied, but White and Williams never returned the money they unlawfully received.”

White pleaded guilty to petit larceny on Dec. 21, 2023. Williams pleaded guilty to second-degree falsifying business records and petit larceny on Feb. 23. Their attorney couldn’t be reached for comment.

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