Two-Minute Read: How COVID cons finessed public largesse into premium purchases


THE SKINNY: Financial fraudsters turned the COVID-19 loans bonanza into luxury shopping sprees, with the average scheme netting $1.9 million, according to criminal justice professor Marie Springer.


  •  Haitian immigrant Valesky Barosy, convicted in December, helped others rip off COVID-19 loan programs, took a 30% cut of the proceeds, and purchased a Lamborghini worth over $200,000.
  • Ganell Tubbs netted nearly $2 million, went on a two-day online shopping spree on Apple products and clothes, and sent $150,000 to a relative claiming to have “won the lottery.”
  • Senegalese immigrant Oumar Sissoko claimed he did not know that $7.25 million he received was only for pre-existing businesses — all while spending $370,000 in his first week, including the purchase of a $100,000 Mercedes.
  • Rhea County, Tennessee County Executive George Thacker, who died in prison on Dec. 26, 2022, siphoned $650,000 in public funds to pay off his credit cards and buy stocks and cryptocurrency.

• Washington Times Staff can be reached at 202-636-3000.


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