Two women charged with stealing thousands of Covid relief money in scam, SC cops say

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Two Richland County residents were arrested for scamming the government out of thousands of dollars of Covid relief money, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division said Tuesday.

Both 43-year-old Irmo resident Kadenia Mashea Javis and 49-year-old Columbia resident April Denise Harris were charged with obtaining property by false pretenses ($10,000 or more), SLED said in a news release.

The women falsely claimed to be out of work when they each applied for, and later accepted, unemployment benefits that totaled more than $10,000 apiece, arrest warrants show. The money came from Unemployment Insurance benefits and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, according to the arrest warrants.

Information about exactly how much money each woman is accused of defrauding from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce was not available.



There was no word what, if anything, Javis and Harris did with money.

SLED said both Javis and Harris claimed to have lost their jobs at Javis Tax Service as a direct result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Harris was a registered agent at the Two Notch Road business that was owned by Javis, who was also a registered agent, according to arrest warrants.

Between March 27, 2020 and Dec. 17, 2020, both Javis and Harris received the unemployment benefits, SLED said. Despite their claims, the business actually remained open during the pandemic, and the women earned money from Javis Tax Service while also receiving the unemployment funds from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce, according to the release.

Both Javis and Harris were arrested on Oct. 17, 2023, Richland County court records show. They were booked at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center, SLED said.

Neither woman is currently listed on the Richland County jail’s inmate roster, as each posted $10,000 bonds on Oct. 18, according to court records. Both Javis and Harris are scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 15, according to judicial records.

SLED said the women will be prosecuted by the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.

In 2011, Javis was arrested for financial crimes in Richland County, but she was not indicted and the charges were dismissed, court records show.

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