A North Carolina woman has been accused of lying to get a $150,000 coronavirus small business relief loan, and then spending the money on shopping trips to Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton and diamond stores.
Jasmine Clifton, 24, appeared in federal court on Monday after being indicted by a grand jury on charges of wire fraud in relation to a disaster benefit, and fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.
Clifton, from Charlotte, was later released on $25,000 bond, according to a press release from the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
Jasmine Clifton, 24, faces federal charges of wire fraud in relation to a disaster benefit, and fraud in connection with major disaster or emergency benefits.
She is accused of lying to get a $150,000 PPP loan intended for businesses impacted by COVID
Clifton allegedly created false documents claiming $350,000 in gross revenue in 12 months for her online clothing business, Men Wallets Jazzy Jas, even though she had dissolved the company in September 2019
Clifton, from North Carolina, is pictured in front of wallpaper displaying fake banknotes
The release said Clifton applied in March 2020 for a Small Business Administration loan designed to provide relief to existing businesses harmed by pandemic shutdowns.
She created false documents claiming $350,000 in gross revenue in 12 months for her online clothing business, Jazzy Jas, even though other paperwork filed in early 2020 showed the company was effectively dissolved in September 2019 – four months before the first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported in the US.
The loan application was approved in early August and Clifton received $149,900, which she later spent at over two dozen retailers, also shopping at Ikea and Rooms to Go, the release said.
Clifton, who described herself on Facebook as a ‘CEO,’ has been showing off some of her jewelry on social media and boasting about her supposed success as an entrepreneur.
Clifton has been boasting about her work ethic on Facebook, including this post from August 2020, which is around the time she got the PPP loan
The 24-year-old is accused of spending the Small Business Administration loan on shopping trips to Nieman Marcus, Nordstrom, Louis Vuitton and diamond stores
As recently as three weeks ago, Clifton has been bragging on Facebook about her aspirations as an entrepreneur
Around the time she received the PPP loan, Clifton shared a meme on her page that read: ‘some of us are building from SCRATCH,.
No inheritance, no connections, no backups. Just blood, sweat and skills.’
She wrote in the comments section: ‘stop asking me for favors/loans/handouts.’
As recently as three weeks ago, Clifton has been bragging on Facebook about her aspirations as an entrepreneur, writing in a status update from January 31: ‘my business is coming together.’
Less than two weeks before her federal indictment, the 24-year-old posted: ‘i love supporting my lady bosses!!’
If convicted as charged, Clifton faces 30 years for each charge and a possible $1,250,000 combined fine.