Ex-Mississippi police officer pleads guilty in COVID-19 aid scheme, US Attorney says

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JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A former police officer in Mississippi pleaded guilty to wire fraud for receiving more than $72,000 in federal COVID-19 relief aid he wasn’t entitled to, a federal prosecutor said Monday.

U.S. Attorney Todd Gee said in a news release that 54-year-old Wesley Murray of Jackson will be sentenced on Jan. 10.

In the September bill of information, prosecutors said Murray filed for aid from the Small Business Administration using false information about a business he said he owned, claiming he would use the money for business purposes.

But the information about his ownership in the business, as well as revenue and sales, were false, the document said. Instead of using the $72,000 from the SBA for payroll, rent or other related expenses, Murray used the money for personal expenses, including the purchase of a Ford Mustang GT.

The charges outlined in the document do not involve police work.

The maximum sentence Murray could receive is 20 years, according to Gee, although the judge will make the decision based on federal sentencing guidelines.

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