Yakima woman charged over fraudulent COVID relief loans

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SPOKANE, Wash. – The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Washington is cracking down on people who made bogus requests for COVID-19 relief. Their recent findings led to the indictment of a 48-year-old Yakima woman who allegedly obtained more than $59,000 in relief funds for an illegitimate business.

According to a statement released on behalf of District Attorney Vanessa Waldref, a woman named Karla Padilla is charged with seven counts of fraud for allegedly making false statements to receive relief funds.

She says the Yakima resident received three loans – an Economic Disaster Disaster Loan (EIDL) and two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans obtained between 2020 and 2021.

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These were lodged on behalf of Queen B Collectibles, a company specializing in classic collectible cars which authorities said had no employees, receipts or business operations.

The indictment claims the Yakima resident received $59,000 in loans by submitting documents containing falsified claims regarding the legitimacy of the business. She is also accused of requesting four additional unauthorized loans.

“I commend the stellar investigative work on these cases done by Strike Force and in particular in this case by SBA OIG and TIGTA,” U.S. Attorney Waldref said. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute those who misuse and misuse COVID-19 relief funds, and to strengthen our communities by protecting our small businesses and local businesses.”

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