Monica Moreno, a 40-year-old resident of the Dallas area, pleaded guilty today to one count of theft of government property, having allegedly misappropriated more than $40,000 from various pandemic-era financial assistance programs. The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas, Leigha Simonton.
Ms. Moreno's indictment came in November 2022, and today, she admitted her guilt before U.S. Magistrate District Judge Irma Carrillo Ramirez.
According to court documents related to her guilty plea, Monica Moreno successfully applied for and received funds from three distinct pandemic relief initiatives: the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, the Paycheck Protection Program, and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. In total, she acquired approximately $44,757 in federal funds.
Ms. Moreno's fraudulent activities involved submitting an advance EIDL loan application on behalf of her alleged business, JBP Financial. In her application paperwork, she falsely declared that she had no prior criminal convictions, even though she had been convicted in 2015 for aggravated identity theft, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to defraud the United States. These offenses had resulted in a 48-month prison sentence for Ms. Moreno. She received $2,000 from the EIDL program and used some of these funds for personal expenses.
Furthermore, Monica Moreno submitted fraudulent applications over the course of a year to each of the three disaster relief programs, consistently providing false information and receiving a total of approximately $44,757 in federal funds.
As a consequence of her guilty plea, Ms. Moreno now faces a potential maximum sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison.