Yakima woman indicted for racking up $59,000 in fraudulent COVID relief claims

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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 false COVID-19 relief claims. 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 release issued on the behalf of District Attorney Vanessa Waldref, a woman named Karla Padilla is being indicted on seven fraud charges for allegedly making false claims to receive relief funds.

She claims that the Yakima resident received three loans—one Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and two Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans obtained between 2020 and 2021.

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These were filed on the behalf of Queen B Collectibles, a business dealing in classic, collectible cars that authorities determined did not have any employees, receipts, or business operations.

The indictment claims that the Yakima resident received $59,000 in loans by submitting paperwork with falsified claims regarding the legitimacy of the business. She is also accused of applying to obtain four additional loans that were not authorized.

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

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