Woman accused of over $500,000 PPP, unemployment fraud scheme indicted on racketeering charge in Georgia

Staff Report

Tynea Gray of Ascension Parish, accused of mail and wire fraud of more than $500,000, was among two Louisiana women indicted for conspiracy to commit racketeering Aug. 1 in Troup County, Georgia.

Gray reportedly listed a Donaldsonville address at one time, but later moved to Prairieville. Also indicted was Deavian Andrews, who is from Baton Rouge, according to online government records.

As stated in a Troup County Sheriff's Office release, Gray and Andrews could face a prison sentence of five to 20 years, if convicted. The county is southwest of Atlanta.

According to the release, a captain conducted a traffic stop on Interstate 85 on April 7 after reportedly observing a window tint violation on a vehicle.

Following a search of the vehicle, the captain reported finding numerous items indicating the two women were possibly involved in identity theft and printing of checks to be cashed on unknowing victims' accounts.

Numerous stolen COVID-19 vaccination cards suspected of being taken from a physician's office were discovered, the release stated, along with false vehicle identification stickers suspected of use on stolen vehicles, and multiple debit and credit cards belonging to other people.

An investigator reported finding the two in possession of about $22,400 in forged money orders and $45,949.31 in suspected forged checks.

The investigator also reportedly located evidence that the duo was actively recruiting others into their enterprise to take advantage of innocent people.

The two women were suspected of defrauding the federal government through Paycheck Protection Program loans and unemployment fraud. At the time of her arrest, Gray was wanted by Louisiana agencies for related offenses and was later transferred to them.

Gray was in federal custody for charges of federal mail fraud and wire fraud. Andrews remained in custody in Troup County.

Investigators estimated that the enterprise is responsible for more than $500,000 in identity fraud.

According to a July 22 U.S. Department of Justice news release, a federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment charging Gray with mail fraud and wire fraud. She pled not guilty to the charges.

According to the indictment, between June 2020 and October 2021, Gray submitted claims for unemployment insurance benefits in California in her name and in the names of other individuals. She also submitted claims for PPP benefits in the names of fictitious businesses and based on fictitious business profits and losses.

Further, Gray obtained names, birth dates, and Social Security numbers of others, and submitted fraudulent claims for unemployment insurance benefits in their names, with and without their knowledge or consent. 

Gray captured people’s identifying information through social media and used the information to file numerous unemployment insurance claims. Upon submitting the claims and receiving the funds, she either gave a portion of the funds to others or kept all the funds for herself. Through her scheme, Gray obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars in prepaid debit cards in the mail.  

In February 2021, Gray also devised a scheme to defraud a lender and the United States, through the Small Business Administration, by filing false and fraudulent applications for PPP funds. 

On or about February 2, 2021, she submitted a false and misleading PPP application in the business name of “Royaldiamondzkollection LLC” seeking PPP funds. Gray submitted a forged bank statement, false tax documents, and made misrepresentations in her PPP applications. 

Additionally, Gray caused $20,833 to be deposited into her bank account, to which she was not entitled.