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3 charged with filing false claims for virus relief loans

MEMPHIS (AP) — Three employees of a Tennessee tax service have been charged with filing more than $1 million in false claims for coronavirus-related federal loans, federal prosecutors said.
Brandy Scaife, Janisha Jones and Sharika Carpenter have been indicted on charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to defraud, the U.S. attorney’s office in Memphis said in a news release.
All three were employees of Better Days Tax Service in Memphis, prosecutors said. From April through June, they used false information on more than 400 applications seeking U.S. Small Business Administration loans made available to businesses that suffered losses from the COVID-19 pandemic, prosecutors allege.
The loans added up to about $1.1 million, prosecutors said.
Each defendant faces up to 30 years in federal prison if convicted. Carpenter’s lawyer, Arthur Horne, said Tuesday that he was gathering information about the case but his client plans to fight the charges.
Attorneys for Scaife and Jones could not be immediately reached.