March 23, 2024

Photo: Colorblind Images LLC/Getty Images

Last year, Jamie Burke seemed to be one of the tens of thousands of New Yorkers desperate for COVID relief money. She owns a small real estate company, Rojo Realty, in St. Albans, out on the suburban edge of Queens, and said on a federal Paycheck Protection Program application that she needed help to make the monthly payroll of $55,000 for her ten employees. It sounded like just the kind of situation that PPP loans were designed for: a small business that needed a little help to stay afloat. Burke’s application was approved, and she was given $137,000. But Burke didn’t pay any salaries, according to the Queens District Attorney. In fact, judging by the company’s single-page website that offers little information about the company and nothing about those who work there, Burke might not have any employees — or any business — at all. A woman who picked up at the number listed on Rojo’s spare website (active listings: zero) insisted that it was the wrong number and that they have nothing to do with the company; instead of an office building for the firm’s employees to work out of, the address listed on the loan application is for a tudor-style red brick house.

On Wednesday, the 59-year-old became the latest New Yorker to be slapped with criminal charges — in her case,…

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