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Former JSO officer pleads guilty to COVID relief fraud

Department of Justice

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Deconna Burke, 34, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud that involved COVID Relief Fraud and is facing 20 years in federal prison.

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According to the Department of Justice, in April 2021, Burke submitted a Paycheck Protection Program loan application to a lender authorized by the Small Business Administration to lend funds for approved PPP loan applications.

He claimed to have his own babysitting business that made $98,000 a year.

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Throughout the loan application, Burke made multiple false statements regarding his purported payroll and operating expenses.

According to DOJ, Burke submitted a false IRS Form 1040 “Profit or Loss From Business” that contained false statements about operating expenses, gross income, and wage expenditures for his purported business.

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In reliance on the false statements in his PPP loan application and supporting documentation, Burke received a PPP loan in the amount of $20,415. After receiving the PPP loan proceeds into his bank account, Burke began making withdrawals and spending it on personal expenses, including paying off a loan for a motorcycle.

In November 2021, Burke filed a PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, falsely stating that he spent $20,415 on payroll. In reliance on his false statements, the SBA forgave the entire loan amount.

This case was investigated by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the United States Secret Service – Jacksonville Field Office. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kevin C. Frein.

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