ROSSWELL, GA – A Roswell woman will spend the next several years in prison after pleading guilty to cheating the federal government out of $6 million in Payment Protection Program funds.
Prosecutors say 49-year-old Hunter Vanbelt, also known as Hunter Lauren Vanbelt, Elaine Corkrum and Elaine Yappa Kwame Corkrum, filed fake PPP loan applications totaling $7,943,591.50. It only received $6,017,066.50 from April 2020 to June 2020 applications.
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VanPelt reportedly owned or controlled six companies seeking the loans, but lied about the number of employees working for each and their average monthly payroll. She also filed fake IRS records, bank statements, and payroll reports.
Federal agents were able to recover $2.1 million in funds.
VanPelt was sentenced to three years and five months in prison with another five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $7,002,031.50 in damages.
“The Paycheck Protection Program is intended to help legitimate businesses and their workers through the depths of the pandemic,” said US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Unfortunately, VanPelt decided to use the software as its personal bank. I hope an important Federal sentence, like the one it received, will deter others from following the same path.”
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VanPelt pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges in August 2021.
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