Two Mississippi businessman arrested for stealing nearly $2 million in COVID-19 relief money for real estate purchases, political contributions, gifts to family and friends

Published 12:11 pm Friday, June 17, 2022

Two Mississippi businessmen have been arrested and accused of defrauding the federal government out of nearly $2 million in COVID-19 relief money — money that was allegedly given to family, friends, and Jackson State University and for the purchase of an office building.

Federal agents arrested Jabari Edwards and Antwann Richardson, who have been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges including money laundering, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Edwards also faces charges for allegedly making a false statement.

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The federal government contends that Edwards and Richardson defrauded the government by lying on PPP loan applications.

The money from the loans was reportedly used for real estate transactions, political contributions, loan payments on vehicles, and donations to Jackson State University and the JSU Tiger Fund Athletic Foundation.

Edwards and Richardson are also accused of giving thousands of dollars in cash to family, friends and employees of their companies.