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Buffalo woman charged with cheating hurricane victims

A French bulldog and plastic surgery are among the benefits a Buffalo woman sought as a result of her wrongdoing, according to federal prosecutors.

Keonna Davis, 32, is accused of using her position as a disaster recovery specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration to cheat the same disaster victims she was was supposed to be helping.

A new 33-count grand jury indictment charges Davis with wire fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft.

Prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan P. Cantil, she is accused of stealing the identities of several disaster relief loan applicants – victims of Hurricane Harvey or Irma – and using them to open new accounts, add herself to existing victim accounts and apply for loans.

The government claims Davis used the stolen identities to try and acquire a $4,900 loan for a French bulldog, a $15,000 loan for plastic surgery and a $35,000 personal loan.

Davis, investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder Jr. and released on conditions.

In a statement, SBA Associate Administrator Jim Billimoria said the agency worked closely with federal prosecutors during the investigation and said any future allegations of fraud impacting disaster survivors will be investigated, as well.



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