Chula Vista City Council member Andrea Cardenas and her brother, Jesus Cardenas, pleaded not guilty to charges of fraudulently obtaining a $176,227 Paycheck Protection Program loan for their political consulting business, Grassroots Resources. The siblings allegedly used the funds for personal expenses, including a $33,500 check to Andrea Cardenas’ City Council campaign account.
The charges include conspiracy, money laundering, conspiracy to defraud, grand theft, and failure to file tax returns. According to CBS8 San Diego news, “Councilwoman Andrea Cardenas and her brother Jesus deny all allegations against them. She says she’s not guilty, so she’s not resigning from her city council seat.” Jesus Cardenas could face up to four years and four months in prison, while Andrea Cardenas faces up to five years and eight months if convicted. They remain out of custody until their court appearance in January.