Five Memphis IRS Employees Charged with Defrauding over $1 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds

Five current or former IRS employees in the Memphis area have been charged with defrauding federal COVID-19 relief programs after spending relief money on personal and luxury items.

Kevin G. Ritz, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, said in a statement about the case, “These individuals – acting out of pure greed – abused their positions by taking government funds meant for citizens and businesses who desperately needed it. I thank our law enforcement partners for rooting out this fraud. Our office will not hesitate to pursue and charge individuals who steal from our nation’s taxpayers.”

Court documents say the five employees obtained funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) by submitting false and fraudulent loan applications that together, were valued at $1 million.

“The IRS employees charged in these cases allegedly abused the trust placed in them by the public,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr.  said. “The Criminal Division is committed to safeguarding that public trust and protecting pandemic relief programs for the American people.”

Brian Saulsberry, of Memphis, was charged with two counts of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. Prosecutors say Saulsberry submitted four fraudulent EIDL program applications, seeking more than $500,000 in loans and obtaining more than $171,000. After receiving relief funds, he spent a portion on a Mercedes-Benz and invested the remainder into a personal account.

Courtney Quinshe Westmoreland, of Cordova, was charged with three counts of wire fraud for allegedly submitting multiple fraudulent applications, that sought over $32,000 in loans. In all, officials say Quinshe obtained more than $11,000 that was spent on personal services, including manicures, massages, and luxury clothing.

Fatina Hewitt, of Olive Branch, Mississippi, was charged with one count of wire fraud. Hewitt is charged with submitting multiple fraudulent applications seeking over $338,000 and receiving more than $28,000. Prosecutors say the money was to buy Gucci clothing and a trip to Las Vegas.

Roderick DeMarco White II, of Memphis, was charged with one count of wire fraud. White allegedly submitted four fraudulent loan applications seeking over $113,000. The U.S. attorneys say he  received over $66,000, which he spent on personal items, including a Gucci satchel.

Tina Humes, of Memphis, was charged with one count of wire fraud. Humes is alleged to have submitted four fraudulent applications, seeking over $133,000 in loans. She received over $123,000 which prosecutors say was spent on jewelry and trips to Las Vegas.

According to the DOJ, the five former IRS employees are each facing up to 20 years in prison for every count of wire fraud, plus to up to 10 years in prison for each count of money laundering.

The attorney general established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force on May 17, 2021. The responsibility of the task force is to monitor resources to prevent pandemic-related fraud.

“The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration’s mission includes investigating allegations of criminal violations committed by Internal Revenue Service employees. We will continue to aggressively pursue IRS employees who breach the public trust, safeguarding the integrity of the IRS,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George.

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Kaitlyn Osteen is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network. Send Kaitlyn news tips to [email protected].
Photo “IRS Building” by TravelingOtter. CC BY-SA 2.0.




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2 Thoughts to “Five Memphis IRS Employees Charged with Defrauding over $1 Million in Federal COVID-19 Relief Funds”

  1. Phyllis West

    It will be disturbing if they get a slap on the wrist, & a transfer to another Division or take “retirement”.

    What about all the movie stars & prisoners that got checks? Who will be held accountable for that?

    There are Millions of unspent “Covid relief” Tax Dollars that should be returned to the Treasury to pay toward the $31 Trillion Debt.
    Got to get the crazies out of Government. Time to clean House Nov 8. They print money we do not have.

  2. Dwayne Oxford

    How about some pictures of these fine dimmercraps??