NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WRIC) — A Georgia woman was sentenced to 51 months in prison for conspiring with others to submit millions of dollars in fraudulent loan applications. These applications were for a disaster-related loan in to help business turmoil related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nikki Mitchum, 51, was sentenced for participating in a conspiracy to get COVID-19 loan benefits from the Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsored Economic Injury Disaster loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. 

These programs were part of the Cares Act, which was meant to help small businesses struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nikki Mitchum conspired with Malik Mitchum, 27 and Jenna Mitchum, 27, of Hampton, Virginia. The three of them submitted false claims for government benefits in the name of businesses they falsely represented as struggling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Between March 2020 and May 2021, they submitted 13 fraudulent applications for loan benefits. They used Nikki Mitchum’s information that contained false statements and misrepresentations about income, employment and claimed business entries. 

Nikki Mitchum was linked to four other fraudulent applications via IP address. In total, Nikki Mitchum is also linked to 17 fraudulent loan applications. Those applications were submitted by other co-conspirators who paid kickbacks of about $204,000 to other companies owned by Nikki Mitchum. 

Previously, Malik and Jenna Mitchum pleaded guilty and were linked to over $5.5 million in intended loss and $1.4 million in actual loss to the United States and financial institutions. Malik Mitchum was sentenced to 51 months in prison and Jenna Mitchum was sentenced to 48 months. 

Nikki Mitchum agreed to pay $1.8 million in restitution to the United States for the actual loss from her participation in the conspiracy. She is linked to a total of $5.8 million in intended fraud loss.