Fraud, Public Fund Theft Charges Filed Against Ex Amtrak Worker: Feds

PHILADELPHIA — A former Amtrak employee has been federally indicted on costs of mail and financial institution fraud, in addition to theft of public money.

United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero stated Ricarda Burrell, 49, of Philadelphia, was charged by Indictment with one depend of mail fraud, two counts of theft of public money, and one depend of financial institution fraud, all stemming from her scheme to fraudulently acquire emergency funds meant for these affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Indictment alleges that Burrell fraudulently utilized for and obtained Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (“PUA”) funds whereas she was a full-time worker of Amtrak.

Further, Burrell utilized for and obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) mortgage for what she claimed was a small catering business.

Burrell was terminated from employment with Amtrak after the crimes alleged within the Indictment occurred.

The Indictment alleges that Burrell took benefit of each packages, securing pandemic reduction funds to which she was not entitled by filling out fraudulent purposes.

Specifically, in June 2020, Burrell submitted a PUA application, falsely stating that she had lost her job as a result of COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the Indictment, Burrell subsequently submitted weekly PUA certifications, falsely reporting that she had no employment and earnings and was additionally prepared and in a position to settle for a job if provided.

All Burrell’s weekly certifications occurred whereas she was a full-time worker of Amtrak.

As a results of her fraudulent application and weekly certifications, Burrell obtained $9,379 in PUA advantages.

The Indictment additional costs that in April 2021, Burrell submitted a PPP mortgage application to the Small Business Administration (SBA), offering false details about an alleged catering business.

As a part of the application, Burrell made false statements concerning the alleged business’ creation date, month-to-month payroll, variety of workers, and prior year’s earnings.

Additionally, as a part of the application course of, Burrell submitted fictitious payroll and tax paperwork to substantiate the requested mortgage quantity of $134,552.50.

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