Montgomery woman accused of USAO-MDAL coronavirus loan fraud

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MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA – Ms. Zsa Bouvier Coach, 52, of Montgomery, Alabama, was arrested on criminal charges related to federal loan fraud for small businesses on April 26, 2021, Acting US Attorney Sandra J. Stewart said. Coach first appeared in federal court yesterday, April 27, 2021.

The fraud charges relate to aid received under the Coronavirus Assistance and Economic Security Act (CARES), a federal law passed in March 2020 to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic fallout caused by the COVID pandemic. nineteen. One source of CARES relief is the Payroll Protection Program, or PPP, which allows bad loans to small businesses to keep jobs and certain other expenses.

Coach allegedly filed at least six fake applications for loans under the US Small Business Administration’s PPP program, according to an indictment filed by the Middling Alabama Grand Jury, seeking funds worth more than $ 1.6 million. In each of the applications, Coach falsely inflated the number of employees who worked for her alleged business, as well as the average monthly payroll for businesses, leading to her ability to qualify for larger PPP loan amounts. Coach also allegedly made other false statements in her statement, such as not disclosing that she applied for multiple PPP loans for the same business and did not disclose her shared ownership of multiple businesses. In support of the overestimated number of employees and the average monthly salary indicated in the applications, Coach allegedly submitted falsified tax documents. As a result, Coach received an inflated amount of funds from PPP loans to which she was not eligible. Couch ultimately received a total of US $ 609,687.47 from PPP funds. It is alleged that Coach then used the funds to pay money to herself, her husband, and other family members, and to buy luxury cars.

The coach is charged with several counts of bank fraud, misrepresentation to a federally insured bank, and money laundering. If convicted, Coach faces a maximum of 30 years in prison. A judge in a federal district court will rule on any conviction after considering the US Sentencing Guidelines and other legislative factors.

An indictment is simply a statement, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the US Internal Revenue Service for Criminal Investigations, the Inspector General’s Small Business Administration, and the Treasury Inspector General of the Internal Revenue Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Alice LaCourt and Jonathan Ross are handling the case.

For information on the Department of Justice’s efforts to curb illegal activities related to COVID-19, visit www.justice.gov/coronavirus… For the latest information on COVID-19, consumers can visit the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and WHO.

The public is strongly encouraged to report suspected COVID-19 (coronavirus)-related fraud schemes to the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at (1-866-720-5721) or via an online form messages available at www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/webform/ncdf-disastercomplaint-form

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