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Woman In Central Florida Sentences In COVID-19 Relief Funds Fraud Case


On December 14th, 2023, Yahoo News reported that a Central Florida woman was sentenced to federal prison for her role in a COVID-19 fraud case. The United States Attorneys’ Office for the Middle District of Florida has confirmed that 31-year-old Passion Jackson of Ocala, FL has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for a COVID-19-related wire fraud case. Here, our Orlando white collar criminal defense attorney explains what we know about this case in more detail and highlights the steps to take if you are facing any type of fraud related charge.

The Conviction: Defendant Defrauded Federal COVID-19 Relief Programs 

Passion Jackson of Ocala, Florida was convicted of federal wire fraud in a COVID-19 pandemic relief fund case. Notably, the charges filed in this case came after an investigation by the DOJ’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Ms. Jackson has now been sentenced to serve two years in federal prison for wire fraud. She was convicted of committing fraud under the CARES Act by submitting a false claim for a fully refundable loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Prosecutors determined that Ms. Jackson received more than $20,000 in unwarranted funds through the PPP based on a fraudulent IRS document that she submitted. As part of the conviction, all funds must be forfeited. Ms. Jackson pled guilty to the offense earlier this year in a federal court in Central Florida.

An Overview of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force 

Federal authorities are working closely with state and local officials to track down and prosecute COVID-19-related fraud that occurred in 2020 and 2021. The COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force is a team that was formed to catch and punish people who misuse funds meant for pandemic relief. The group—which includes various experts and law enforcement agencies—has been tasked with ensuring that pandemic aid was used properly. It has the authority to hold people who committed fraud against the PPP and other federal government programs accountable.

Wire Fraud is the Most Common Criminal Charge in COVID-19 Fraud Cases 

How does the federal government pursue COVID-19 fraud cases? In court, the answer is, often, wire fraud charges. Broadly speaking, wire fraud occurs when someone uses the internet or phone to

Improperly obtain funds from another party. It is a serious crime because it deprives the rightful party of funds/assets. A person convicted of a wire fraud charge can face serious penalties—including a lengthy federal prison sentence. If you or your loved one was charged with wire fraud in a COVID-19 case, it is crucial that you consult with an experienced Florida white collar criminal defense attorney.

Contact Our Orlando, FL Criminal Defense Lawyer Today

At The Baez Law Firm, our Orlando white collar criminal defense attorney is an aggressive, experienced advocate for defendants. You have a right to present a zealous defense. Contact us today to arrange your completely confidential, no strings attached case review. From our Orlando office, we defend white collar cases in Orange County and all over Central Florida.




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