Six alleged South Jersey gang members charged with fraudulently obtaining $125,000 in coronavirus relief funds
Investigators alleged that Paycheck Protection Program applications were filed in the name of Gotti Boy Movement members and their affiliates.
Six people were charged with participating in a criminal enterprise that included two homicides and fraudulently obtaining more than $125,000 in pandemic relief funds from the federal government, Burlington County Prosecutor Scott Coffina said Tuesday.
The six were identified as Tayron Brown, 25; Kavon Carter, 24; Brandon Clifton, 23; Javon Forman, 21; Kyree Weathers, 24; and Sylas Young, 19. Eight others also have been charged for their roles in helping a street gang called Gotti Boy Movement in the coronavirus-related fraud, Coffina said.
Investigators alleged that the pandemic scam yielded $124,996 in funds from Paycheck Protection Program applications that were filed in the name of gang members and their affiliates. Carter allegedly submitted an application claiming he was a barber with an annual income of more than $105,000 in 2019, even though he was incarcerated throughout 2019. Carter received a check for nearly $21,000, as did five of his associates, Coffina said.
The alleged criminal actions that led to the racketeering charge started in September 2014, when shots were fired at a Pemberton Township police officer who was sitting in a cruiser in Sunbury Village, Coffina said.
Brown and Carter allegedly participated in the shooting, and Clifton is waiting to be tried on murder charges for the March 2017 fatal shooting of Shaquille Williams in Sunbury Village. Clifton’s codefendant in that case, Douglas Lewis, was found guilty in September and sentenced to 58 years in New Jersey state prison.
Weathers is awaiting trial on a 2020 firearms charge, Coffina said. Forman was found guilty that same year of burglary and a weapons violation, and was charged in February with possession of an assault weapon with a 40-round magazine containing armor-piercing rounds, Coffina said.
Carter and Young have been charged in connection with the slaying of 18-year-old Yahsinn Robinson in April in Willingboro, Coffina said. Robinson, a Willingboro High School student, was returning home from his part-time job when he was killed.
A week later in Willingboro, a woman was hit in the leg and a toddler was grazed across his backside by shots fired into their home. Young has been charged with both shootings.
Carter and Young have also been indicted on firearms charges from a separate incident earlier this year, and Forman was charged in October with witness tampering for making multiple threatening phone calls from the Burlington County Jail, Coffina said.