NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – A Georgia woman pleaded guilty to COVID-19 loan fraud this week, in a case that also involved a couple from Hampton.

Court documents state that 44-year-old Nikki Mitchum was part of a conspiracy to fraudulently get Economic Injury Disaster loans (EISL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. These loans were supposed to help small businesses pay for expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Mitchum, who is from Stockbridge, Georgia, worked with Malik and Jenna Mitchum, of Hampton, Virginia, to submit the fraudulent claims for the Cares Act loans, for businesses they falsely said were struggling because of the pandemic.

The conspiracy was conducted between March 2020 and May 2021.

Nikki Mitchum was connected to 17 fraudulent loan applications, according to a U.S. Department of Justice news release. Nikki Mitchum has agreed to pay more than $1.3 million in restitution for losses from her role in the conspiracy. She is linked with intended fraud loss of more than $4 million.

Nikki Mitchum pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 7. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Malik and Jenna Mitchum also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution. They are scheduled to be sentenced on July 29.