ALEXANDRIA, Va. — McLean resident Latifa Brooks has agreed to pay $107,347 to settle a civil fraud case alleging she fraudulently applied for and received two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and then fraudulently obtained the remission of the two loans.
On March 31, 2022, the United States filed a complaint against Brooks under the False Claims Act (FCA) and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA). According to the complaint’s allegations, in April 2021, Brooks obtained two PPP loans, totaling $42,601, based on his asserted status as an independent contractor and sole proprietor of Superb Movers, Inc. The United States alleged that Brooks had reported false gross income amounts. and submitted false tax returns in support of PPP claims. In September 2021, Brooks obtained forgiveness of the two PPP loans by falsely certifying compliance with all PPP rules and requirements.
As part of this resolution, Brooks agreed to reimburse $47,772 for loan forgiveness amounts and processing fees the government paid as a result of Brooks’ allegedly false allegations and statements, and an additional $59,575 to settle the United States’ claims for treble damages under the FCA and civil penalties under the FCA and alternatively FIRREA. The US complaint is the result of EDVA’s ongoing efforts to use data analytics to proactively identify fraudulently obtained PPP loans.
The resolutions achieved in this case are the result of a coordinated effort between the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Small Business Administration.
The case was investigated by Assistant U.S. Attorneys William Hochul and Krista Anderson.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the Department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via NCDF’s online complaint form at: https://www. .justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.
The civil claims settled by this agreement are only allegations; there was no determination of civil liability.
Related court documents and civil lawsuit information can be found on PACER by searching for case #1: 22-cv-00359. A copy of this press release can be viewed on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.