Fraud Unveiled in Chicago! Woman Sentenced to Prison for $16M COVID Scheme

Fraud Unveiled in Chicago! Woman Sentenced to Prison for $16M COVID Scheme

CHICAGO – A woman from Chicago was found guilty of getting involved in a scheme to fraudulently receive more than sixteen million dollars in small company loans and grants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. She was sentenced to eighteen months in federal prison for her role in the scheme. The sentencing for Milica Sumakovic, who is 33 years old, was handed down on April 25. She was ordered to make restitution to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) of $1.68 million.

During the previous year, she entered a guilty plea to a federal wire fraud case. In the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Sumakovic was one of seven defendants who were accused of participation in a scam that involved the submission of more than 300 bogus applications demanding more than $40 million in benefits from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.

Through the EIDL program, which was founded as a result of the CARES Act, the goal was to offer financial support to legitimate firms that were experiencing difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors assert that Sumakovic and her co-conspirators represented themselves as owners and operators of some businesses located in the states of Illinois and Florida. The applications and accompanying documents that they submitted contained incorrect information about the companies, including the number of employees and the amount of revenue that they claimed to have. Due to this ruse, the Small Business Administration (SBA) received more than sixteen million dollars in bogus benefits.

Marko Nikolic, a co-defendant, submitted 18 fake applications claiming over $2.6 million in benefits, and Sumakovic directly submitted and supported Nikolic in filing these benefits claims.

In addition, Marko Nikolic, 36, from La Grange, and Branko Aleksic, 34, from Chicago, both entered guilty pleas to the charges of wire fraud and money laundering throughout the proceedings. In January 2024, Nikolic was given a punishment that included a prison sentence of four years and two months as well as an order to make restitution of $6.9 million. In November of 2023, Aleksic was given a sentence that included not only two years and eleven months in jail but also reparation in the amount of $575,000.

The remaining four defendants are the following: Maja Nikolic, 36, from Brookfield; Nebojsa Simeunovic, 38, from Lyons; Mijoajlo Stanisic, 34, from Willowbrook; and Dorde Todorovic, 33, from Chicago.  All of these individuals are considered to be fugitives and are believed to be living outside of the United States. Those individuals have been issued warrants for their arrest.

Please contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at (866) 720-5721 or visit their website at if you have any information regarding an attempted fraud with COVID-19.

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