A Texas woman has been accused of using $3.7 million in PPP loans to purchase homes and luxury items.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Southern District of Texas, LaDonna Wiggins, a 37-year-old Houston resident, made an appearance in federal court for her alleged submission of two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
In a criminal indictment that was filed on Feb. 24, Wiggins is facing charges of bank fraud, making a false statement to a bank, and money laundering. If convicted, Wiggins faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million maximum fine.
Wiggins allegedly submitted two PPP loan applications for businesses known as Wiggins & Graham Enterprise L.L.C. and Pink Lady Line, thus resulting in her receiving a total of $3,648,145. The charges allege Wiggins used the funds received to make personal purchases including two homes, multiple vehicles, and luxury items instead of using the funds for any legitimate business purposes.
LaDonna Wiggins, 37, is now facing up to 30 years in federal prison after she allegedly used #CARESAct funds for lavish personal purchases.
Court documents state she bought 2 homes, built a pool, spent over $36k at Amazon, about $5k at Helzberg diamonds and the list goes on: pic.twitter.com/y03Z4KGhgY
— Mayra Moreno ABC13 (@MayraABC13) March 3, 2021
TheGrio reported earlier this week that the day after Wiggins appeared in federal court, her attorney released the following statement.
“We are very disappointed to learn that the government has decided to pursue criminal charges against our client, LaDonna Wiggins, after our repeated requests to sit down and discuss this matter with them.
“Ms. Wiggins is innocent of the charges brought against her in a nine-count indictment, as well as any and all allegations of wrongdoing which the government has lodged against her. Contrary to their allegations, Ms. Wiggins is a highly successful, young, African American businesswoman who has cultivated several thriving local businesses and is an upstanding member of and an asset to the Houston community.”