LaGrange woman convicted in $1.5 million PPP fraud case
Published 9:09 am Friday, January 26, 2024
A LaGrange woman has been sentenced to federal prison on bank fraud charges related to more than $1.5 million in funds she received through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Pamela Denise Williams, 53, of LaGrange was sentenced to serve more than two and a half years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release according to Acting United States Attorney Jonathan S. Ross.
Ross announced on Wednesday that Williams pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges related to PPP loans she received during the pandemic.
Williams was sentenced on Jan. 18, 2024. A federal judge sentenced her to 33 months in prison along with an additional five years of supervised release following her prison term. Federal inmates are not eligible for parole.
According to court records and Williams’ own plea, Williams applied for a PPP loan from a credit union in Chambers County, Alabama, doing business as Loving Childcare. While doing so, she put false information on the application making herself eligible to receive a larger loan amount.
PPP funds were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In Williams’ plea agreement, she specifically admitted that she “knowingly and fraudulently” overstated her business’s income and falsely represented that the loan would be used for authorized purposes, such as payroll.
Williams admitted to diverting the funds for other unapproved purposes.
In addition to her prison sentence, the judge also ordered Williams to forfeit $121,000 and pay a $15,000 fine.
A subsequent hearing will be set to determine the total amount of restitution owed by Williams based on actual losses to the financial institutions. Ross said the total intended loss amount from Williams’ fraud exceeded $1,500,000.