The indictment alleges the 39-year-old woman, of Dacula, then used some of the funds on several cosmetic surgery procedures.
GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — A Gwinnett County woman has been indicted in a more than $2 million COVID scheme, where she allegedly submitted dozens of fraudulent applications to get COVID small business relief funding.
The indictment alleges the 39-year-old woman of Dacula also used some of the funds on several cosmetic surgery procedures.
According to the Department of Justice, she faces the following charges: conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud, seven counts of wire fraud, false document, money laundering conspiracy and false statement. The DOJ said the woman’s primary charge carries a statutory penalty, up to 30 years in federal prison and then five years of supervised release if convicted. Additionally, she will also face substantial financial penalties and restitution to the U.S. government, the DOJ said.
“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was funded to help small businesses struggling from the effects of a global pandemic,” U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said. “In far too many cases, however, it has been exploited by those seeking to milk these relief programs for their personal profit. With our diligent law enforcement partners, we will continue to identify and hold accountable anyone who violates the law to siphon money from these programs.”
The indictment alleges from around May 2020 to April 2021; the woman submitted more than two dozen fraudulent applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). According to the DOJ, accomplices also paid the woman to submit the fraudulent documents on their behalf for the EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.
Additionally, the indictment alleges the woman’s participation in this COVID scheme defrauded the U.S. out of more than $2 million. She then transferred $13,955 of the funds to pay for cosmetic surgeries, including “a breast augmentation procedure and abdominoplasty with flank liposuction,” according to the DOJ.
The case is currently being investigated by the FBI and the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General.
Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or online here.