The Western Australian ‘Strike Force’ Is Pursuing Millions In COVID-19 Relief Fraud

relief fraud

Karla P Reyna has had a tale that embodied the American Dream. She is a 1st generation immigrant who has used her entrepreneurial energy to succeed in the Yakima Valley’s financial and insurance sector.

Karla refused to discuss her background further, but according to her website, she later obtained a significant degree in business, taught at a nearby institution, and founded numerous companies. She married, had children, and was a commissioner for Hispanic affairs for the state of Washington. According to Ms. Padilla-Reyna’s website, she has been a champion of animal welfare and loves participating in competitive sports like chess, golf, and soccer. Additionally, she partakes in helping out at nursing homes and food banks.

Thousands Of People Across The U.S Exposed Partaking In Relief Fraud

But according to court documents submitted by government attorneys, Padilla-Reyna misappropriated approximately $300K from a pandemic relief program provided at the federal level intended to save struggling enterprises from going bankrupt over an entire year and a half.

Prosecutors stated that “the Defendant’s crime of relief fraud required reflection, planning, and a complete disregard for others’ well-being during a global crisis.”

A stimulus proposal to aid business owners who were forced to close their storefronts was approved by Congress with unusual bipartisan support in March 2020, as an unforeseen illness overflowed hospitals and left city streets deserted. The Paycheck Protection Programme (PPP), an individual program the size of the entire federal government’s reaction to the economic crisis in 2008 ultimately injected $800 billion into the economy. According to a DOJ spokeswoman, local DOJ attorneys in the U.S. have now begun that protracted and difficult pursuit, filing criminal charges regarding relief fraud against 2,240 people and more thus far. The EW office established a “strike team” in February last year to hasten the drawn-out investigation procedure characteristic of fraud investigations as a result of the enormous task that lay ahead of them. Since then, prosecutors across the state have filed relief fraud indictments against twenty-eight people and a business on counts such as bank fraud, relief fraud, and theft of identity. One among the many is Padilla-Reyna.

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