Denver Woman Accused of Stealing More Than $3.3 Million from Covid Relief Programs

Denver woman accused of stealing $3.3 million from Covid relief programs. Charges include wire fraud and false information on applications. Importance of oversight emphasized.

In a stunning case of alleged fraud, a Denver woman is facing charges for stealing more than $3.3 million from Covid relief programs. DeJane Reaniece Lattany, 32 years old, is accused of wire fraud for obtaining funds fraudulently through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program. According to court documents, Lattany submitted false information on applications, misrepresenting the number of employees and revenues of her businesses. Instead of using the funds for legitimate business expenses, she allegedly diverted the money for her personal benefit. The case highlights the importance of oversight and vigilance in distributing relief funds during times of crisis.


The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on individuals and businesses across the United States. In response to the economic hardships faced by small business owners, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act established various programs, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) program, to provide emergency assistance to those affected by the pandemic.

Recently, a Denver woman, DeJane Reaniece Lattany, has been charged with wire fraud for allegedly stealing over $3.3 million from these Covid Relief Programs. Lattany is accused of submitting fraudulent EIDL applications and false PPP applications, using the funds for personal gain instead of intended business expenses. This case highlights the importance of ensuring the integrity of these relief programs and prosecuting those who attempt to defraud them.

Overview of the Charges

Lattany is facing charges related to fraudulent EIDL and PPP applications. According to court documents, she prepared and submitted fraudulent EIDL applications to the Small Business Administration (SBA) on behalf of business entities that she claimed to own. In these applications, Lattany made false statements regarding the entities’ number of employees, gross revenues, and cost of goods sold. She also falsely certified the accuracy of the information provided and claimed that the funds would be used for payroll and other permissible expenses. However, it is alleged that Lattany used the majority of the proceeds for personal expenses.

In addition to the EIDL fraud, Lattany is accused of submitting fraudulent PPP applications to participating lenders. These applications contained false and fraudulent certifications and representations regarding Lattany’s ownership of other businesses, as well as the businesses’ average monthly payroll and number of employees. She falsely represented that all PPP funds would be used for eligible business expenses, but allegedly used the funds for her personal benefit. Lattany also submitted falsified documentation in support of these PPP loan applications.

The total amount of funds obtained through this alleged scheme is reported to be $3,337,976.94, consisting of PPP, EIDL, and Economic Injury Disaster Grants (EIDG) proceeds.

Investigation and Prosecution

The investigation into Lattany’s alleged fraudulent activities was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Denver Division. The FBI’s involvement demonstrates the seriousness with which law enforcement agencies are addressing instances of fraud related to Covid relief programs.

The prosecution of this case is being handled by Nicole C. Cassidy and Rebecca S. Weber. These prosecutors from the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado will work to present the evidence and build a strong case against Lattany.

Initial Appearance and Presumption of Innocence

Lattany made her initial appearance before Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews on March 27, 2023. During this appearance, the charges against her were read, and she had the opportunity to enter a plea. It is important to note that, at this stage, Lattany is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. The presumption of innocence is a fundamental principle of the criminal justice system, ensuring that individuals are not unfairly punished before the conclusion of a fair trial.

Establishment of COVID-19 Fraud Task Force

In response to the heightened risk of fraud during the Covid-19 pandemic, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force on May 17, 2021. This task force aims to coordinate the resources of the Department of Justice and other government agencies to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

The COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force enhances investigative and prosecutorial efforts against both domestic and international criminal actors involved in fraud related to pandemic relief programs. It also works to assist agencies in charge of administering relief programs to prevent fraud by identifying fraudulent actors and their schemes, sharing information and insights gained from previous enforcement efforts, and implementing effective coordination mechanisms.

Efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud are crucial to ensuring that relief funds are allocated appropriately and reach those who are genuinely in need.

Resources for Reporting Fraud

If you have information about attempted Covid-19 fraud, it is important to report it promptly. The Department of Justice operates the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF), which serves as a central hub for receiving and processing reports of fraud related to natural and man-made disasters, including the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The NCDF’s Hotline can be reached at 866-720-5721. Additionally, individuals can submit a complaint through the NCDF Web Complaint Form available on the Department of Justice’s website.

Reporting suspected fraud is crucial in helping law enforcement agencies identify and apprehend individuals involved in fraudulent activities. By reporting fraud, you contribute to the efforts to ensure the integrity of relief programs and protect businesses and individuals from financial harm.

Related Content

The case against DeJane Reaniece Lattany is just one example of the Justice Department’s commitment to prosecuting fraud related to Covid-19 relief programs. In a separate case, a Denver woman was recently sentenced to four years in federal prison for receiving more than $3.3 million fraudulently through these programs. This sentencing serves as a clear message to those who attempt to exploit these relief programs for personal gain.

Furthermore, another individual, Ikponmwosa Pero Erhinmwinrose, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to Covid-19 fraud. These cases demonstrate the ongoing efforts by law enforcement to hold accountable those who engage in fraudulent activities during these challenging times.

Edward Baker Harrington, an Idaho Springs man, was also recently sentenced to federal prison for wire fraud and money laundering. This case, although not directly related to Covid-19 relief fraud, exemplifies the Justice Department’s dedication to combating fraud in all its forms.

Contact Information

For more information or inquiries regarding the District of Colorado’s cases and operations, the main office can be contacted at the following address:

  • 1801 California Street, Suite 1600, Denver, CO 80202

For media inquiries, the appropriate point of contact is:

  • Email: [email protected]
  • Telephone: (303) 454-0100
  • Fax: (303) 454-0400

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