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Georgia woman who fraudulently collected $6M in PPP loans sentenced to three years

Story at a glance

  • Hunter VanPelt, 49, was sentenced to prison time for bank fraud related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
  • Authorities say VanPelt submitted six false and fraudulent loan applications between April 27, 2020 and June 17, 2020 on behalf of companies that she owned or controlled, totaling more than $7.9 million.
  • She was sentenced to three years and five months in prison.

A Georgia woman was sentenced to more than three years in prison Tuesday for fraudulently collecting more than $6 million in federal COVID-19 relief funds, the Department of Justice said

Hunter VanPelt, 49, was sentenced to prison time for bank fraud related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a program that provided hundreds of billions of dollars in forgivable loans to small businesses turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Authorities say VanPelt submitted six false and fraudulent loan applications between April 27, 2020 and June 17, 2020 on behalf of companies that she owned or controlled, totaling more than $7.9 million. VanPelt received just over $6 million of the funds requested. 

In each of the loan applications, VanPelt lied about the payroll and number of employees and included false IRS records, false bank statements and false payroll reports, authorities said.


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She was sentenced to three years and five months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay more than $7 million in restitution. She was convicted in August 2021 after pleading guilty. 

“The Paycheck Protection Program is meant to help legitimate businesses and their workers through the depths of the pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine said in a release. 

“Unfortunately, VanPelt decided to use the program as her personal bank. A significant federal sentence, such as the one she received, hopefully deters others from following the same path.” 

Federal agents seized about $2.1 million of the fraudulent funds. 

The Justice Department has prosecuted more than 150 defendants and seized more than $75 million in funds related to PPP fraud so far.


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