Florida woman, breast cancer survivor, got $3.4M COVID grant she never applied for

A Florida gas station employee said she’s listed as receiving a $3.4 million COVID relief check that she never applied for and never received.

Holly Hill resident Amy Williams said she’s stunned that her name and an outdated address ended up in the federal database stating that she received millions in COVID Restaurant Revitalization Funds for a catering business. Williams never applied for the funds, never received any money, and has never worked in the restaurant business.

"I feel like I was violated because someone stole who I am and used me to fraud the government, to steal money from the taxpayers."

When Williams said a newspaper reporter asked her why she received the federal money, she was surprised to see her name with an old address on the list.

"I think I was stunned, actually speechless at that moment. I kept repeating ‘$3.4 million? Me?' I says, ‘You sure you have the right Amy?’" 

Of the 31 Daytona Beach businesses that received the COVID relief funds, Williams is at the top, allegedly receiving the biggest check for a catering business she does not have, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

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She said she never applied for COVID relief and she doesn’t work in the restaurant industry. 

"I’ve never owned a restaurant or catering business."

And she hasn’t lived at the address listed on the check for roughly eight years, she said.

The next highest check in the area went to a beachside nightlife spot for nearly $560,000, the paper reported.

Williams’ husband works as a restaurant cook, but that’s their only tie to the food industry. And that restaurant did not receive any relief funds either.

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"I don’t have any money," said Williams. "I’d really love to know how this happened."

The 44-year-old had been unemployed for three years while battling breast cancer and recently started working at a gas station. She and her husband live with their three children in a modest apartment.

She said she tried putting a freeze on her Social Security number and took other precautions. 

"I went up to the police station tried to file a report. They say they can’t file a report right now unless I have proof."

The Small Business Administration declined to comment on the mistaken check, saying its Office of Inspector General and the agency’s federal partners are working diligently to resolve fraud incidents.

"I hope it was just a clerical mistake. I hope somehow they got my address, but I really believe someone stole it."

We also reached out to the FBI's internet crimes complaint center, which along with the Department of Justice, is tracking fraud reports during the pandemic. They recommend people like Williams file a complaint online if they believe they've been victims of fraud. 

Williams said she is recovering from breast cancer and is currently in remission, but now she has to deal with the stress this has caused.

"I was very excited to get my life back and now someone else has it." 

She said she filed her complaint with the FBI after giving her the information.  To file a complaint log on to www.ic3.gov 

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.