Police say the owner and his salesman would assist customers with filing for pandemic relief knowing the funds were fraudulently received.

By: KDKA-TV’s Erika Stanish

CONNELLSVILLE, Pa. (KDKA) – A Fayette County business and 11 people have been charged after police said they stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from programs meant to help people struggling during the pandemic.

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After a year-long investigation, police say more than 250 charges were filed and more than $300,000 was stolen by Red Carpet Auto Sales in Connellsville.

(Photo: KDKA’s Erika Stanish)

According to a criminal complaint, police say this was an attempt to defraud the Pennsylvania Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection programs.

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State police say Red Carpet Auto Sales and eleven others were charged, including the owner of the business, Joshua Dewitt, and his salesman, Terry Newmeyer.

Police say the two would assist customers with filing for pandemic relief knowing the funds were fraudulently received.

(Photo: KDKA)

Authorities say residents in Fayette County should be angry, going on to say that any time government funds are misused, it’s taking advantage of government funding intended for the people who really need it.

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The charges are now being handled by the Fayette County District Attorney’s Office.