Woman Spends $ 1.6 Million in Economic Aid Loans for Plastic Surgery

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KEY POINTS

  • The woman filed fake applications for the economic stimulus loans
  • Woman faces up to 30 years in jail for each count of bank fraud
  • She can also face up to 5 years in prison for each of the six counts of making false statements.

A Baltimore woman is now indicted by a federal grand jury after stealing and using stimulus loans to get plastic surgery.

Nichelle Henson, 35, is now charged with misrepresentation and bank fraud to receive more than $ 1.6 million in personal use economic aid loans. US Attorney Erek L. Barron said the woman spent the money on home renovations, rent and utilities for personal residences and plastic surgery.

“It is reprehensible that fraudsters are trying to take advantage of this global pandemic to line their pockets,” Barron said in a statement. “As accused in today’s unsealed indictment, Nichelle Henson allegedly fraudulently obtained over $ 1.6 million in federal funds at the expense of honest business owners who were in fact in financial difficulty due to COVID -19. “

The unsealed indictment revealed that Henson had incorporated several businesses in Maryland by opening their bank accounts and obtaining them tax identification numbers. However, some of the companies, including Crowns Construction, LLC; Nichelle Henson Campaign, LLC; Your Friendly Tax Preparation Services, LLC; and Peace of Mind Services, Inc. and Women Entrepreneurs Can Succeed LLC, had no employees. Henson herself received at least $ 998,590 from six of the claims she filed.

If Henson is found guilty, she can receive up to 30 years in federal prison for each of the 12 counts of bank fraud. She can also be sentenced to up to five years in jail for each of the six counts of misrepresentation in the applications. Henson is due to appear in court virtually on Thursday.

The indictment unsealed comes as many Americans call on Congress to send more relief checks amid the spread of the highly transmissible Delta and Omicron variants. A petition released last year by Denver restaurant owner Stephanie Bonin urging lawmakers to send monthly checks for $ 2,000 reached 2,982,378 signatures, less than 18,000 signatures below its target of three million.

Neither the Biden administration nor congressional lawmakers have yet indicated their intention to approve another round of COVID-19 relief payments to Americans.

Federal Reserve stimulus policies have been credited with helping the US economy recover from the Covid-19 pandemic Photo: AFP / Daniel SLIM

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