Press Release


Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz, joined by New York City Police Commissioner Dermot Shea and U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Philip R. Bartlett, U.S. Postal Inspection Service-New York Division, announced today that defense attorney Jamie Burke, 59, has been charged with grand larceny and other crimes for allegedly lying on the Federal Paycheck Protection Payment and Small Business Administration loan applications to acquire funds that were intended to help businessowners pay employees during the pandemic. Bank records allegedly show the defendant made numerous cash withdrawals from the Covid emergency loan funds and used some money to finance her gambling habit.

District Attorney Katz said, “This defendant is a member of the bar and swore an oath to uphold the law. Sadly, she now stands accused of swindling more than $280,000 in PPP and SBA loans to line her own pockets. These programs were created to help struggling businessowners stay afloat and their workers employed during these unprecedented times. This defendant now faces very serious charges for her alleged actions. I want to thank my law enforcement counterparts for their efforts in this case.”

Police Commissioner Shea said, “I commend the NYPD investigators and Queens District Attorney prosecutors whose efforts resulted in this arrest. We will continue to work to ensure that this person is brought to justice.”

Inspector in Charge Bartlett said, “Ms. Burke took advantage of her knowledge and legal know-how to bilk the U.S. Government and steal funds earmarked for struggling businesses during the height of the pandemic. Her actions are reprehensible and disgraceful for a member of the New York Bar.”

Burke, of Leslie Road in St. Albans, Queens, was arraigned yesterday before Queens Criminal Court Judge Denise Johnson on a complaint charging her with two counts of grand larceny in the second degree and one count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. Judge Johnson ordered the defendant to return to Court on February 9, 2022. If convicted, Burke faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to the charges, on August 17, 2020, the defendant signed a PPP loan application indicating that she was the sole owner of Rojo Realty located on Leslie Road in St. Albans, Queens. The defendant is alleged to have stated on the loan application that she had 10 employees with a monthly payroll of $55,000. Her loan submission was approved and on August 19, 2020, a check for $137,500 was deposited into her business account held at Capital One Bank.

DA Katz said the defendant also made an earlier request for a loan from the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster program on August 9, 2020. On that application Burke allegedly stated the realty company had gross revenue totaling $890,500 for the previous 12 months and claimed to have 12 employees. On August 11, 2020, a check from SBA totaling $149,900 was deposited into the same business account at Capital One Bank.

According to the charges, the defendant received a total of $287,400 in loans. The applications she submitted specifically stipulated that the borrowed funds had to be used for the business operation, worker retention, payroll and/or to make mortgage, lease and utility payments for the company. Records, however, allegedly show that Burke used most of the funds on personal expenses including spending $80,000 placing bets at gambling establishments.

The investigation was conducted by Detective Joseph Tobia of the New York City Police Department Asset Forfeiture Unit and U.S. Postal Inspector Joseph Marcus of the United States Postal Inspection Service.

Assistant District Attorneys Joseph Conley, Bureau Chief of the DA’s Frauds Bureau and Aharon Diaz, of the Frauds Bureau, are prosecuting the case under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney for Investigations Gerard A. Brave.

**Criminal complaints and indictments are accusations. A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.