Houston woman accused of buying homes, Land Rover, Chanel items in alleged $3.7M PPP scam

HOUSTON -- A 37-year-old Houston woman is being accused of buying dozens of luxury items using CARES Act money.

The Justice Department indicted 37-year-old LaDonna Wiggins with bank fraud, making a false statement to a bank and money laundering.

According to a statement issued on Tuesday, Wiggins submitted two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications and received more than $3.6 million. The charges allege Wiggins used the money to make personal purchases, including two homes, multiple vehicles and luxury goods.

The Justice Department lists some of the purchases as nearly $725,000 for homes in Katy and Cypress, $78,000 for a 2020 Land Rover and a $63,000 purchase at Chanel.

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An Associated Press investigation has found that scores of Roman Catholic dioceses in the U.S. had more than $10 billion in cash and other readily available funds when they received at least $1.5 billion from the federal government's small business emergency relief program.

Other purchases listed by officials include $46,000 at Neiman Marcus and $14,000 at Apple.

Wiggins appeared before a U.S. Magistrate on Tuesday. If convicted, Wiggins faces up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million maximum fine.

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Lee Price III is accused of spending $1.6 million in CARES Act money on a Lamborghini Urus, which starts at a price of about $207,000, and a Rolex watch. He also allegedly spent thousands at strip clubs, among other things.

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