SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — A Gwinnett County woman was charged in a COVID-19 small business relief scheme for submitting fraudulent loans.

The Southern District of Georgia said Ashlee Parker, 39, is charged for submitting dozens of fraudulent small business relief fund applications. Parker faces up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release and financial penalties.

The indictment claims she submitted more than two dozen applications — worth over $2 million — for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to the U.S. Small Business Administration. Parker submitted the applications through several companies she owns: Proficient Tax LLC, The Harris Parker Group LLC and AMP Credit Solutions LLC.

David H. Estes, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, says Parker used nearly $14,000 for cosmetic surgery on her breast and liposuction. Estes says co-conspirators paid Proficient Tax LLC to submit fraudulent applications for them for EIDL and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding.

Estes said Parker is charged with the following:

  • Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Bank Fraud
  • Seven counts of Wire Fraud
  • False Document
  • Money Laundering Conspiracy
  • False Statement

“The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was funded to help small businesses struggling from the effects of a global pandemic,” Estes said. “In far too many cases, however, it has been exploited by those seeking to milk these relief programs for their personal profit. With our diligent law enforcement partners, we will continue to identify and hold accountable anyone who violates the law to siphon money from these programs.”

Estes urges anyone with information on COVID-19 fraud to call the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.