Augusta woman sentenced, ordered to pay restitution for CARES Act fraud

Crime & Safety

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – An Augusta woman has been sentenced to time in prison and ordered to pay restitution in a CARES Act fraud case.

The 44-year-old Jacinthia Williams is sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to wire fraud. She’s also been ordered to pay $61,600 in restitution.

The U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of Georgia says Williams has been ordered to report to prison on Aug. 16.

Court documents state that Williams applied for and received three loans totaling $137,500 under the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program comprised of funds appropriated by the CARES Act.

Williams has reportedly already paid a portion of the fraudulently obtained loans back to the SBA.

Williams admitted in court to falsifying loan applications by inflating the number of employees of the businesses and the amount of money those businesses earned prior to the pandemic-induced economic downturn. She also admitted to spending some of the loan proceeds on purely personal matters.

“Funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Security (CARES) Act was provided to help small businesses survive pandemic-related losses,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes. “When unscrupulous actors attempted to swindle the funds for their own enrichment, those criminals will be held accountable.”

To report a COVID-19-related fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at justice.gov.

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