Georgian woman sentenced to federal prison for COVID-19 fraud | USAO SDGA - Market News
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Georgian woman sentenced to federal prison for COVID-19 fraud | USAO SDGA

Hudson Woman Pleads Guilty of Crimes Related to Social Security Disability Benefits |  USAO-NH

AUGUSTA, Georgia: A woman from Jefferson County, Georgia who admitted to using false information to apply for aid for COVID-19 has been sentenced to federal prison.

Whitney Adwan Mack, 34, of Louisville, Georgia, was sentenced to 48 months in prison after pleading guilty to one count of wire fraud, said David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia. U.S. District Court Judge Dudley H. Bowen also sentenced Mack to pay a $5,000 fine and to three years of supervised release upon completion of her prison sentence. There is no parole in the federal system.

“The substantial loans to businesses suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic have helped huge numbers of people who needed extra help for their small business,” said US attorney Estes. “Unfortunately, the lure of money also attracted scammers who tried to enrich themselves by defrauding taxpayers during a national emergency, and they are being held accountable.”

By pleading guilty, Mack admitted she obtained COVID-19 Economic Injury Loans (EIDL) in July 2020 by making false statements about the number of people her company employed and gross revenues from the company, and applied for emergency funding using a social security number that was not hers. After receiving a $150,000 EIDL, Mack withdrew much of the money in cash and used some of the proceeds for a vacation in Miami.

“We are committed to bringing justice to criminals seeking to steal government funds,” said Steven Baisel, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service. “This conviction demonstrates the commitment of my agency and our partners to prosecute people who steal pandemic relief funds intended for those who need it most.”

“Mack stole critical funding earmarked for small businesses facing real economic difficulties due to the pandemic and damaged the integrity of the Social Security Number,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration. “I would like to thank our law enforcement partners for their efforts in this investigation. I also thank the US Attorney’s Office for bringing this person to justice.”

The case was investigated by the US Secret Service, the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General and the Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General, and prosecuted by US Assistant Attorneys Patrick J. Schwedler and Jonathan A. Porter.