October 28, 2022
Fraud Friday – Former Wells Fargo Fraud Analyst Indicted for $1 Million PPP Fraud
Tamakia Harris along with another bank employee, Shavondra White, are being accused of fraudulently obtaining PPP funds. Cedric Benton, was also indicted for the alleged PPP fraud scheme. Harris, the fraud analyst, is now facing 17 fraud charges and made her first court appearance last week.
Tamakia Harris, a Wells Fargo employee according to Yahoo, allegedly charged fees of $2,000 to $5,000 for her assistance in filing fraudulent PPP loans. The release says that she would inflate the borrower’s income to qualify for the largest possible PPP loan and would create counterfeit IRS forms for businesses that were nonexistent. These applications would then be sent to financial servicing companies. The DOJ claims that she aided in the creation and submission of more than 30 fraudulent PPP loan applications for over $900,000.
The other bank employee, Shavondra White, was indicted for electronically filing two PPP loan applications in her own name. To support the applications, she allegedly used forged federal income tax documents produced by Tamakia Harris. The indictment claims that White, Benton, and another individual garnered over $100,000 in PPP funds that they did not qualify for.
The last conspirator, Cedric Lee Benton, also submitted two fraudulent PPP loan applications allegedly. Benton has a previous criminal conviction which would disqualify him from the program, and he allegedly submitted fictitious and forged IRS forms with the PPP applications.
Each of the defendants was charged with one count of wire fraud conspiracy, and Harris has an additional sixteen charges of wire fraud. Harris was granted a bond release last week. An arrest warrant was issued for Cedric Benton, and he was set to make a court appearance last Friday. Shavondra White has not been arrested in connection to the alleged crimes.