June 18, 2024

Postal employee ordered to pay restitution for COVID payroll protection loan fraud

Darkhorse Press

Photo by Sora Shimazaki: https://www.pexels.com/photo/justice-scales-and-gavel-on-wooden-surface-5668882/

OXFORD, Miss. – A Southaven woman was ordered to pay more than $80,000 in restitution following her conviction for making a false application for and receiving COVID-19 Payroll Protection loans.

According to court records, LaSonja Jones, 42, previously pled guilty to applying for PPP COVID-19 loans with false information about eligibility of two personal businesses she owned to obtain Federal moneys from the Small Business Administration. Jones was an administrative employee of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service at the time she made the false applications.

At a sentencing hearing on Tuesday, U.S. District Court Judge Sharion Aycock sentenced Jones to time served in prison with five years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $80,433 in restitution.

“The federal government made billions of dollars available to businesses that needed help to stay afloat during the pandemic, and people like this defendant stole that money,” remarked U.S. Attorney Clay Joyner.  “To add insult to injury, the defendant worked for the government at the same time that she was actively stealing from the government, and I appreciate the efforts of the Postal Service to bring her to justice.”

“This case is an example of our unwillingness to tolerate payroll protection fraud, especially by individuals who are placed in positions of authority to protect and investigate this very fraud,” said U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General Special Agent in Charge Michael Ray. “I thank Special Agent Jonathan Sawant and AUSA Paul Roberts for their commitment to bringing this case to resolution.”

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General’s Office of Professional Responsibility investigated the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Roberts prosecuted the case.

Share this Article


Related Articles