Court documents show Malik Mitchum, 26, and Jenna Mitchum, 25, submitting at least 19 fraudulent requests for pandemic help.
Newport News, Virginia – Author’s note: The video above is on file from November 11, 2021 on small business fraud.
A former Hampton couple has pleaded guilty to filing more than a dozen fraudulent loan applications to obtain COVID-19 pandemic benefits.
Court documents showed Malik Mitchum, 26, and Jenna Mitchum, 25, working together to get money from loans related to the pandemic.
The couple has submitted at least 19 applications for Small Business Administration (SBA), Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These were all programs that were supported under the CARES Act.
Officials said Malik, a junior Air Force enlisted member and Gina, who are unemployed, both falsely claimed to own at least five small businesses that were struggling during the pandemic. In order to obtain an SBA loan, an applicant needs to own a small business.
The applications were sent between March 2020 and May 2021. According to court documents, the couple also made false statements about their income.
It is also linked to more than 20 fraudulent loan apps that have been linked to its IP address. Officials said the couple were planning to scam the government out of more than $5.1 million. Their actual losses amounted to more than 1.4 million dollars.
The couple had been purchasing luxury items prior to their arrest, such as a Rolex watch worth $38,742.
They now face up to 30 years in prison and are due to be sentenced on July 29, 2022.