Hawkins Co. woman gets prison time for using PPP loans to fund Florida resort trip, cosmetic surgery
According to court docket files, the woman previously served prison time immediately after a wire fraud conviction in 2019.
GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — A Hawkins County female beforehand convicted of wire fraud in 2019 will commit additional time in jail following pleading guilty to utilizing federal pandemic aid resources in 2021 to pay out for a excursion to a luxury Florida resort as very well as cosmetic medical procedures.
The U.S. Attorney’s Place of work in Greeneville stated Judge J. Ronnie Greer sentenced Leslie Bethea, 30, of Surgoinsville to six and a 50 % a long time in federal jail for defrauding the Paycheck Protection Plan loan plan.
On June 14, 2022, a federal grand jury indicted Bethea for wire fraud, funds laundering, and building phony statements. She agreed to plead guilty to the wire fraud and phony statements fees.
According to courtroom paperwork, Bethea was previously sentenced to two many years in prison for wire fraud in Sept. 2019. She was produced early on Oct. 8, 2020, and the feds stated she was on supervised launch when she used for a just about $21,000 PPP personal loan on March 29, 2021.
In accordance to the U.S. Attorney’s Place of work, Bethea claimed in the personal loan application she designed almost $100,000 in 2019 as perfectly as lied about not possessing any prior fraud convictions, indicating she hooked up a fraudulent Agenda C type as proof of her assert.
Right after the personal loan was approved in April, feds claimed Bethea employed just about $3,000 of the reduction funds to pay out for a five-working day junket at Trump International Beach Vacation resort in Sunny Isles Seaside in close proximity to Miami. Although there, feds reported she employed $5,000 of the financial loan to pay out for an elective cosmetic surgical course of action.
Bethea returned to Tennessee and submitted a phony report to her probation officer, boasting she had only obtained $200 for the duration of the month of April and that she had no costs extra than $500. She also claimed she by no means still left Tennessee in the course of the thirty day period of April.
“Elective beauty medical procedures and luxury holidays ended up not approved expenditures for PPP loans,” the plea arrangement mentioned.
As portion of her sentence, she will be set on a few years of supervised release right after she will get out of jail. She has also been ordered to shell out back again $20,805 of the funds she stole.
PPP financial loans had been absolutely forgivable financial loans issued by the federal govt commencing in March 2020 as a result of May possibly 2021 and were meant to enable corporations battling throughout the early times of the pandemic so they could keep and shell out personnel. The loans turned a target of popular fraud and abuse, and NBC Information claimed at the very least 1,044 people have been convicted of defrauding the federal COVID aid system so far. It truly is estimated at minimum $80 billion of the more than $800 billion issued from PPP financial loans were being obtained fraudulently, according to the U.S. Federal government Accountability Place of work.