Federals say the woman used COVID loans to buy in California

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The 32-year-old woman was sentenced to three years in prison on charges of money laundering and bank fraud, federal officials said. She is accused of fraud in receiving $ 1.1 million in aid to COVID.

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Federal officials said the 32-year-old woman bought luxury purchases with fraudulent loans received for assistance in connection with COVID-19 in the amount of $ 1.1 million.

Christina Bearden of Auckland was sentenced to three years in prison bank fraud and money laundering charges on Feb. 24, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California said in a press release.

According to the criminal complaint, Burden is accused of fraudulently applying for loans of $ 4.6 million under the Salary Protection Program and the Economic Damage Loan Program for four companies that were counterfeit.

In the complaint, she received $ 1.1 million from false claims.

Burden’s lawyer told McClatchy News she had no comment.

According to the complaint, the fraudulent money Burden spent $ 124,000 on luxury purchases from Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, San Francisco Giants Dugout Store, Sunglass Hut, Tumi and Wayfair.

She also spent $ 184,000 on airline tickets, private jet travel and hotels, and thousands on restaurants, renting boats and cars, a special agent said in a complaint.

In addition to luxuries and travel expenses, she donated the money to people who spent it on cars, including Mercedes, Land Rover and Nissan, the agent said.

She was ordered to pay $ 1,143,191 as restitution and faces three years in custody.

Helena Wegner is a McClatchy National Real-Time Reporter who covers Washington State and the Western Region. She graduated in journalism from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Arizona. She is in Phoenix.

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