Two Women Charged with Wire Fraud for Stealing Millions in COVID Relief Funds
ST. PAUL, Minn. – Two women have been charged with engaging in fraud schemes to steal millions of dollars in COVID-19 relief funds, announced U.S. Attorney Andrew M. Luger.
According to court documents, beginning in June 2020, Tequisha Solomon, 39, of Las Vegas, and Takara Hughes, 35, of Maplewood, defrauded California’s Employment Development Department (EDD) and Minnesota’s Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) and other state agencies, by submitting fraudulent claims and applications for unemployment benefits that were authorized to provide relief to the American workforce due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, while Solomon and Hughes resided in Nevada or Minnesota, they falsely claimed that they resided in Los Angeles or San Diego and worked as hairstylists in California. As a result, California’s EDD paid Solomon at least $37,000 and Hughes at least $46,000 in unemployment benefits.