Airman, wife admit to submitting fake COVID-19 loan applications

Master Sgt. Jeffrey Delorey, a medic with the 157th Medical Group, gives Tech. Sgt. Ravi Madahar, a boom operator with the 157th Operations Group, a Moderna booster shot Dec. 22, 2021 at Pease Air National Guard Base, New Hampshire. (Staff Sgt. Victoria Nelson/Air National Guard)
Written by Publishing Team

NEWPORT NEWS, Virginia – A pilot and his wife have pleaded guilty to filing at least 40 fake loan applications totaling more than $5.1 million related to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the US Department of Justice.

Malik Mitchum, 26, and Jenna Mitchum, 25, worked for Small Business Administration-sponsored Economic Injury Disaster and Paycheck Protection Program loans, a press release said Wednesday.

Prosecutors said the Mitchum family falsely claimed they owned at least five small businesses, when Mitchum’s owner was in fact a junior member of the Air Force and Jenna Mitchum was unemployed. Between March 2020 and May 2021, Malik and Jenna Mitchum filed at least 19 fraudulent applications for loan benefits related to the pandemic. The press release said it was also linked to more than 20 other fraudulent loan applications through the IP address used to make applications or wire transfers.

Prosecutors said the Mitchum family spent a lot of money on luxury purchases, such as a Rolex watch worth about $39,000.

Malik and Jenna Mitchum pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit telephone fraud against a financial institution. The press release said they face up to 30 years in prison when they are sentenced on July 29.


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