Las Vegas man arrested for running COVID-19 relief scam

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A Las Vegas resident was sentenced Thursday to four years in prison followed by three years of supervised release for possessing a stolen firearm and running a fake COVID-19 relief scam.

Darnele Javoris Nelson, 40, pleaded guilty in March to one count of felony possession of a firearm and one count of wire fraud, after submitting fraudulent loan applications to the Small Business Administration.

According to court documents, on June 23, 2019, officers from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department stopped a car in which Nelson was a passenger. The officer saw an open beer can and later discovered a stolen loaded loaded Glock .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun with an extended magazine.

Nelson has previous convictions for three felonies, including robbery and manslaughter, felony assault with a deadly weapon – both in California – and possession of 15 or more unauthorized access devices in New York. He is prohibited by law from owning a firearm.

Between July 2020 and May 2021, Nelson — who was on probation prior to trial — submitted at least three loan applications from the Economic Disaster Loan Program to the Small Business Administration in an attempt to secure approximately $30,000. , and at least one Paycheck Protection Plan loan application. to get $20,833.

In all four requests, reports indicate that Nelson falsely stated that he was the owner of several businesses that did not exist, stated false amounts of income, false number of employees and that he was not facing on felony charges or was not serving parole or probation for a felony conviction. .

In addition to the sentence, Nelson is currently serving time for violating the probation terms of his New York felony case following his arrest in Las Vegas in 2019.

Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or through the NCDF Web Complaint Form.

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