Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney on Oct. 13 announced the arrests of two Internal Revenue Service employees, Tina White, 36, of Bellport, and Shawana Williams, 45, of Centereach, for allegedly unlawfully receiving thousands of dollars for allegedly filing separate, fraudulent Small Business Administration loan applications.
“These individuals are alleged to have stolen government funds by abusing a program intended to help legitimate small business owners pay their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said District Attorney Tierney. “I want to thank the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration for working with my office to investigate and prosecute those who would steal taxpayer funds.”
According to the investigation, on May 7, 2020, and July 6, 2020, respectively, White and Williams allegedly filed COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications with the Small Business Administration in which they each claimed to be the owners of businesses in need of financial assistance due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
White allegedly claimed to be the Chief Operating Officer of an agricultural business, and Williams allegedly claimed to be the Chief Operating Officer of a medical services business.
White and Williams are each charged with one count of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony. Additionally, Williams is charged with Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree, a Class E felony, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a Class E felony.
On October 12, 2023, White and Williams were arrested by investigators of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office and arraigned before Suffolk County District Court Judge, the Honorable Anna Acqafredda. Judge Acqafredda released both defendants on their own recognizance during the pendency of their cases. White is due back in court on October 23, 2023, and is being represented by Michael Brown, Esq. Williams is due back in court on October 26, 2023, and is being represented by the Legal Aid Society.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Katharine D’Aquila of the Public Corruption Bureau, with investigative assistance by District Attorney Investigator Brian Wood of the Public Corruption Squad, as well as Special Agents Ellen Quackenbush and Kimberly Goldstein of the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.