The U.S. District Attorney's Office in Spokane announced Wednesday, three more convictions for COVID relief fraud for Eastern WA residents, including one from West Richland.

  Woman accused of setting up a fake construction company

52-year-old Jimia Rae Cain of West Richland will be sentenced next June for her setting up a fake construction company to receive COVID funding.

U.S. Attorney Vanessa R. Waldref said in a release that Cain set up a fake construction company called Americore Construction. The business even wound up making some online business lists, including this one.

The business gave an address of 8350 West Grandridge Suite 220, but that building only houses a chiropractor, tax service, and appraisal company.

The incorporation date was listed as July 2021, and it reportedly originated from Wyoming.

According to Waldref:

"..(Cain)..obtained $337,267 in COVID relief funding in 2020 for her purported business, Americore Construction.  In fact, as Cain admitted, Americore Construction did not have any legitimate business, employees, or payroll during the relevant time period, and Cain instead submitted false and fraudulent tax, payroll, and other documentation to obtain the funding."

She was also accused of misrepresenting herself by omitting she had two prior felony convictions for fraud (during the application process for funding).

The Federal judge has accepted her guilty plea, and she will be sentenced next year. Two other Davenport, WA persons were also found guilty of similar fraud.

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The U.S. Attorney's office began to investigate COVID Relief fraud cases with a new Strike Team founded in February of this year. The U S. Attorney's office says so many businesses applied for COVID relief the Federal programs began to run out of money, however, a number of the applications (like Cain's) were fraudulent.

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