Houston/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on June 14, 2024
Houston Resident Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in Disaster Relief Funds SchemeSource: Google Street View

A 26-year-old Houston resident, Khalia Douglas, has entered a guilty plea for her role in a large-scale fraud scheme involving disaster relief funds. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Douglas committed wire fraud by filing fraudulent loan applications with various government agencies, including FEMA and the SBA, as well as a bank, from March 2020 until June 2021.

Utilizing her Instagram account "GoGettaKaee," Douglas openly advertised her services for concocting false SBA COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications, with posts like, "SBA is back open. $350 for method. Yes im doing applications $100 upfront & $2k when your money hit. You’ll need a real bank account." In a turn of fraudulent affairs, her customers would pay her through CashApp and provide a screenshot as confirmation of the payment.

Further investigation into Douglas' activities uncovered that she filed eight fraudulent applications for FEMA disaster assistance related to Hurricane Laura and engaged in additional deceptive activities. These included filing false unemployment benefits claims in Kansas, using someone else’s identity to rent an apartment, and even the depositing of counterfeit checks into another person's bank account.

Searches of Douglas' phone and computer revealed a trove of incriminating evidence, with conversations and documents relating to the fraud. Found in the devices were counterfeit tax documents, fraudulent government IDs, and proof of her dubious dealings. The financial impact of her misdeeds resulted in losses of $351,007, with attempted fraudulent transactions totaling $514,415, though Douglas only pocketed about $23,775 for her 'services'.

Set to be sentenced on September 26, Douglas faces a possible five-year stint in federal prison and may be fined up to $250,000 for her actions. U.S. District Judge Alfred H. Bennett allowed her to remain free on bond until her sentencing date. The case, which was investigated by the Department of Homeland Security-Office of Inspector shark-infested waters of fraud took a hit with the Inspector General and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rodolfo Ramirez.