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West Virginia woman admits COVID-19 loan fraud scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) A West Virginia woman has admitted accepting a lot more than $42,000 in paycheck protection loans under a federal COVID-19 assistance program for businesses which were not engaged in substantial activity.

Alexis Ransom, 24, of Logan, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud in federal court in Charleston.

Ransom obtained three loans which were guaranteed by the tiny Business Administration beneath the CARES Act, which provided emergency financial assist with Americans hit by the economic impact due to the pandemic. The SBA would forgive the loans if the borrower established that the proceeds were useful for payroll, rent or other approved business expenses.

Ransom admitted she falsely stated that her two businesses were established in 2019 and had substantial income. She obtained two paycheck protection loans loans of $14,000 each for Renaes Fashion Consulting LLC and a $14,375 loan for Momma & Me Boutique, court public records showed.

Ransom later put on have all three loans forgiven despite the fact that she hadn’t spent the loan proceeds on permissible business expenses. The SBA forgave her loans in August 2021, court public records showed.

Ransom faces around 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine at sentencing on Nov. 16. She also decided to pay restitution.

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