5 in W.Va. charged with federal pandemic-related fraud

December 8, 2022 GMT

WHEELING, W.Va. (AP) — Five people in West Virginia are facing indictments on federal fraud charges related to COVID-19 aid programs.

U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld says one case alleges false statements about the finances of and number of employees at the Lebanese Restaurant & Bakery, the Wheeling Wine Festival, the West Virginia Hockey League and the Wheeling Hockey Association in order to seek CARES Act funding in amounts of $10,000 per organization.

Another case claims that false information was provided to obtain $645,700 in Payment Protection Program loans for PGO Veteran Services, PG Health, RJS Catering and Dental Care Plus.

In a separate case, prosecutors allege that false information was provided to apply for and receive $20,800 in Payment Protection Program money for the Seafood Hut in New Cumberland, West Virginia.

The final defendants are charged with receiving unemployment benefits while one was still employed by Hancock County schools, and the other was a machine operator for a business in Marshall County.