U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref of the Eastern District of Washington announced the convictions of three individuals for fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 relief funding that resulted from investigations by the Eastern Washington COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, and was intended to provide small businesses with the ability obtain relief funding to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic. The Paycheck Protection Program provided eligible small businesses with forgivable loans to retain jobs and maintain payroll during the pandemic.